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Writing Notes to Be a Successful Student. Part 2
Memorization Techniques

Write Down Key Phrases and Logical Relationships

Try to find and write down the key phrase that summarizes a thought: the speaker often puts an emphasis on essential things. Notice some words that mark the logical relationship between ideas or steps: first, then, firstly, secondly, let's move on to, etc. Note the "meaning" and not the "sound" – write with your own words. The main goal is to understand the content and to be able to use it later.

If you do not understand a word or an expression, ask the teacher for clarification. When an idea has not been understood, there are usually many students who hesitate to ask for explanations. Make sure you note important definitions and/or bibliographic references of these definitions. If you have received a task to write an essay where it is obligatory to use complex technical terms, do not despair and ask the experts on for help – they will help with any subject.

Know Your Learning Type

We all have different techniques to study effectively and memorize information quickly. Some students have to repeat orally. For others it is useful to rewrite or read many times. The bottom line is that you should find your personal way to take and then memorize your notes. For this you can try some tests to define your learning type. Feel free to use color codes for titles, definitions, examples. Make diagrams, arrows, drawings, and note precisely the examples given by the teacher or anecdotes, if it helps you make a connection between theory and practice.

Create Abbreviations and Use Signs

To save time in your note-taking, you must develop a system of abbreviations. Here are some commonly used rules: delete unnecessary words (articles, some adjectives, some verbs). For example, a sentence “Water is good for your health” becomes: “Water good health”. Try to use mathematical symbols: arrows, +, =, etc., abbreviate the end of the words or delete vowels.

Important Points

Color Codes for Note Taking

Write definitions of all technical terms you are using for the first time. When you decide to use an abbreviation, write it in the margin of your notebook. Always use the same abbreviations and respect your own code.

Choose How Your Notes Will Look Like

We have some points that you should try to follow to optimize your note-taking. Firstly, write on paper and do not type on a computer. It is easier to organize, highlight, color, create abbreviations and a custom layout on paper. You will not be able to erase everything if you mishandle it. Write numbers of pages and dates of classes. Write the name of the course and the name of the teacher at the beginning to avoid mess.

We do not say that you will immediately get to organize your records and create an ideal summary that will become your irreplaceable assistant. While you are learning to do this, you can always buy an essay in order not to waste time.

Practical Tips

Students and Teacher

Write on the front of sheets only. Work with titles: underline, highlight, write in color, capitalize, visually prioritize them on the sheet, give them numbers (I, II, III, 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C, a, b, c etc.). Provide a large margin (right or left) to note bibliographical references and examples there. Complete your notes, write your new abbreviations, your personal observations, questions to ask, references to other notes, definitions, etc. If you do not want to leave a margin or if you have forgotten to make one, you can frame those notes in color. Use arrows, bullets for correlations and enumerations by adding an offset of your text on a sheet.

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