The Cornell Note Taking System

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A common struggle students have is taking good notes in class. This method was created by Cordell Hoek while teaching at Cornell University in the 1940’s, but it still a popular way to help students organize information. This system works by dividing the page into three sections notes, cues, and summary.

  1.  Record

In the notes column, write down the important information like dates, keywords, facts, and ideas from your reading or lecture.

  1. Questions

Use this section to write down your questions, questions you think will be on test and quizzes, record relationships, and establish continuity. This section is focused on critical thinking and making connections to the greater meaning behind facts.

  1. Recite

Cover the note section of the page and see if you can answer a few of the questions from the cue section. This will help you to know what concepts you need to review before quizzes and tests.

  1. Reflect

Ask yourself things like; ‘what is the importance of this?’ or ‘how can I apply this?’ and ‘what effect can this have?’.

  1. Review

After class or reading, use the summary section to summarize the notes section and think how what you have learned connects to information from previous lessons or what you have learned in the past.