Taking Class Notes

The 5R Method



at the top right or left

  • Date
  • Class/subject or title or number (e.g. 3/34)
  • Guest speakers' names, including your fellow students' names if they make contributions

on the bulk of the page, but leave an extra margin (3-5 cm) on the left

  • identify the main points
  • capture the main ideas
  • use outlines or concept maps
  • use words and pictures and graphs or whatever it takes to get the information down quickly. Avoid quoting unless it is very necessary.
Reduce; after class note:

in the extra margin space on the left of the sheet write

  • key/cue words
  • keu phrases
  • key questions
  • link information from the text or other sources
Recite: Talk aloud!
  • review from memory what you have learned
  • using the left hand margin's key words and questions, talk through, or illustrate definitions, concepts, etc.
  • create your own examples
Reflect: Think over!
  • how does this relate to what you knew before?
  • note the essay terms and find the best ones that refer to your studies: Apply, Compare, Diagram, Evaluate, etc.
Review the notes you took
  • at your next study session
  • before reading new material
  • when studying for tests
  • make notes on your "notes page"

Pauk, W. (1989) and the Cornell Notetaking System (Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH)