Importance of note-making

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The Importance of Note-Making

During FEST program we meet many modules. With regarding to its own behavior we have to follow learning techniques to remember all the important points. As we cannot hold them all in our mind, we will have to use a record to gather all the information. To record something we have to improve our listening skills. As we record something we will have to pay our attention for our work. That record can help us to recall and understand the lesion in a later time and saves our time. So it is very important to make effective notes.

  1. During lectures, lecturer presents more information than shows in slides. Sometimes they give useful tips for assignments and for exams. So it is very important to write down hints.
  2. When we are in a classroom or in a lecture hall, we must concentrate our mind on the lesion to grab all the information and to comprehend the lesion. That kind of a concentration is built by making notes.
  3. So Note-making is very important as it involves us in the learning process. And whenever we read something we have to write down important points as we cannot hold them on mind.
  4. Making notes allows us to reduce the information in to manageable size. When we are studying for exams a lot of material has to be covered. The key points should be extracted from lecture notes and text books.
  5. It is an aid to exam revision. Making notes helps to think and understand the subject.

The history of Note-Making goes far about 1979. Tony Buzan was the person who invented the concept of Mind Mapping. With using images and patterns he developed the main idea up to a successful invention. So now it has become most popular among most of the academic students.

Types of Note-Making Methods

Note-Making mainly involves with selecting, analyzing, summarizing and organizing information. Although there were many Note-Making methods with different strategies, we only consider five methods that suits for FEST program in this research.

  1. Split-page Format. ( A narrative Note-Making method)
  2. In Split-Page Format method the page should be divided in to two columns and in one column there will be standard notes and in the other, the summery. This method can be used to write down lecture notes. [6.1]

  3. Diagram/Pattern Format. (A visual Note-Making method)
  4. In Diagram/Pattern method the information is presented with using a diagram. The main topic and the related ideas should be linked together as it implies a complete meaning. This is a kind of visual learning technique.[6.1]

  5. Mind Map. (A visual Note-Making method)
  6. In this method the information and important points are presented through a map which contains images. With linking one another, the information can be elaborated according to our own creativity. [6.1]

  7. Outline Format. (A narrative Note-Making method)
  8. In this format the information is presented as an outline with using titles, sub titles that are numbered according a procedure.[6.1]

  9. Question and Prompt Format. (A narrative Note-Making method)

The main points of a lesion can be highlighted across a series of questions and with relevant answers. [6.2]

When taking lecture notes it should be more accurate and consisted. With improving the habit to use SQ3R technique it allows us to take most important points on lectures. After reorganizing them it reveal the way to review and revise the note. A note-Making method is only one category that comes under study skills. But up to now we can see more methods that can follow to achieve improvement in study. So we can follow any of them to reach the target.

With the technological development the Note-Making method has stepped in to computer /notebook. So now it has changed its name as Electronic Note-making method. Most of the students use word processors because it is easy to forward.

Objectives and Scope of Study

  • Acquire the skills to make effective notes using various methods.


Communication & Study Skills

Computer technology



Engineering Ethics

Note Format:

Split-Page format

Diagram/Pattern format

Mind map

Outline format

Question & Prompt format

Through the research I have investigated different Note-Making methods. Five main Note-Making methods have taken to be concerned. The investigation covers the advantages, disadvantages and the feasibility of each method. And each Note-Making method is experimented with FEST modules. Module have been chosen concerning on its behavior and the relevance with the method as below;

  1. Split-Page format : Communication and Study Skills
  2. Diagram/Pattern Format : Computer Technology
  3. Mind-map : Physics
  4. Outline Format : Mathematics
  5. Question and Prompt Format : Ethics
  • Acquire the skills in technical writing.
  • Understand the requirements for a dissertation.
  • Identify the main sections of a dissertation.
  • Achieve proficiency in using soft tools to aid technical writing.
  • Present critical and argumentative views.
  • Learn to write, abstract and draw conclusions.

Overview of Study



In the lectures we have to take a much struggle to catch all the important points and to understand with them. So it is very important to get prepared before the lectures with referring to past lectures and with the things to be taught. After deciding the Note method according to frame work we will be able to have a good Note which concludes all main points. When writing down the main points abbreviations, phrases and images can be helpful to manage the time.

This chapter concludes five main Note-making methods and their adoption in FEST modules. When selecting the appropriate Note-Making method, the behavior of each subject had to be considered.

  1. Communication and Study Skills is based on both theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. Methods like Split-Page, Outline and Question-Prompt can be used to make CSS notes. But Split-Page format becomes most suitable as it carries standard notes and summery.
  2. Computer technology holds theory as well as practical. In most theory parts it concludes title, sub titles definitions and examples. CT notes can be summarized with a unique pattern like a diagram. So Diagram Format is the most suitable method which complies with CT notes.
  3. If we talk about Physics, it is a combination of theory, practical and calculations. Mind map can be used to emphasize the formulas, definitions and the key ideas in an illustrative manner.
  4. As Mathematics carry formulas, definitions and calculations, Outline Format can be used to make notes on theories as well as calculations.
  5. Ethics is mainly based on theory. So through Question and Prompt Format all the notes can be factorized.

We should have a sense to select the most suitable method in various accations.

Implementation of Different Note Formats in Various Fest Subjects

  1. The information and data needed,
  2. When making notes we copy the main points on lectures as well as text books. And we will have to refer web sources, journals, reports and articles to gain extra knowledge.

    The questions that rise during lectures and our own ideas hold an importance. All the types of data should be presented through a simple note.

  3. The data collection strategy,
  4. When making a note we have to follow a data collection strategy. First of all we will have to make a specific objective and a clear definition on the data collection. Second thing is the data collecting mode. It can be quantitative or qualitative. In quantitative data collection strategy it is easy to read and transfer. But in qualitative data collection strategy it needs a long time to differentiate and find out. Otherwise the data mode can be evaluated after deciding it as simple, complex or difficult.

  5. The conditions applied in notes,
  6. Note-Making is not an easy task as it appears. It needs skills to result a better product. We should find materials that are not too difficult or complex. In this case well organized material can help to reduce time. We have a good note after selecting, analyzing, summarizing and organizing those materials.

  1. Split-Page Format
  2. The easiest method to take down notes is Split-Page Format method. In this method the page should be divided in to two parts. The left side must have a width of 2.5 inches and the right side must have 6 inches. The right side is to note down the lecture notes and the important points.

    And the left is to write the key words and the summery of the notes.

    But in some books it is said that page should be divide in to three sections and in the left side it is for own comments and questions, the next part is for write down standard notes and the last part is for the summery. So we can use either way to make a good note.

    Advantages : This method is mainly composed to make lecture notes. And it produces a well organized note. When revising the note, the summery and highlighted points make it much easier. As we note down the questions that comes through the lesion, when recalling the lesion we can make much attention for those problems.

    Disadvantages : This kind of a note is not visually attracted. We will have to write down all the main points in the right side, so it takes much time.

    Feasibility : The main points, questions and summery is overviewed together.

  3. Diagram/Pattern Format
  4. This method is more visual than the Split-Page format method. According to this method the information can be displayed through a pattern as diagram. The main topic is to be written at the top of the page. After that the related ideas should be added. The main topic and the sub topics/ideas should be connected each other as it arouses a complete sense.

    Advantages : Very easy to use and it doesn't take much time to draw diagrams. It is much attractive and therefore it makes very convenient when recalling. Through diagram format it is easy to remember the information.

    Disadvantages : When using Diagram format method we will have to limit the points. Therefore some key points can be neglected. The main idea is not viewable, only the important points are viewable. It is not easy to extent when information is lot. It is difficult to state complicated ideas through such a short format.

    Feasibility : Through this method the main idea can be presented as a flow of key points.

  5. Mindmap
  6. Mind mapping method is bit difficult than other methods as it needs critical thinking. It is a composition of both images and words which present a lot of information through creativity.

    This method differs with other traditional methods as it is based on many skills such like, thinking planning, organizing and concerning.

    The topic/heading should be displayed at the middle of the page. The key ideas and the concepts are the next to be noted. The topics and sub topics can be highlighted with using many shapes. But all the concepts are to be added in a short format. Symbols and images can be added as the suitability. The concepts and their topics should be linked with free lines or arrows.

    To make it more attractive we can follow many colors as accordance.

    Advantages : It is easy to learn and apply and helps to reveal inner abilities as creativity. It provides a summery in a illustrative way. And it is easy to extend and add more points.

    Disadvantages : Only the person who have made it can understand, others can't. It is hard to express much complex concepts through Mind mapping. This method cannot be used to take instant notes.

    Feasibility : Make the subject more illustrative and comprehensive with its nature.

  7. Outline Format
  8. When we are taking usual notes, the Outline Format is mostly used. Actually this method is based on organizing information with using a numbering system.

    It should be started with an initial topic written as no.1. After that the sub topics should be displayed as 1.1,1.2,1.3...The descriptions that are under those sub topics can be numbered as a),b),c)...When we choose another topic it should be displayed as no.2.The relationship is shown by the order of the numbers.Otherwise the topics can be started at the margin and then the subtopics can be indented.

    Advantages : It is easy to learn and easy to use. This method can be used to take notes in the classroom. There will not be any information loss as it is well organized. It is very easy to understand as it is more descriptive.

    Disadvantages : It doesn't include a summery and the important ideas hidden among the details. So this is not a good method to recall before exams.

  9. Question and Prompt Format
  10. This method is more likely with Split-page method. But the difference being that, in QP method the questions that are based on study objectives will be displayed in the left side. And in the right side there should be the answer for that question. When we make questions we will have to go through all the lesions and to catch main points. This kind of a procedure makes the subject more understandable.

Advantages : When we are going through text books or study guides, it is very important to note down the question arouses and their answers in order to use them near exams. The things that are more concern able are highlighted, so it is very important.

Disadvantages : There is no summery, Only the important points are highlighted. Therefore whenever we want something in detail we will have to refer back to the text books. There are no any visual aids, so it doesn't make any pleasant feeling when seeing notes.

Feasibility : This format has the ability to enhance the main points in a Question prompt way.

Discussion and Conclusions

Although there were many Note-making methods all of them are based on summarizing, organizing, analyzing and selecting important factors. We meet different modules, when we go through FEST program. With regarding to the feasibility of each Note-making method, we have to select most comparable format to use with subjects. When we are making ordinary notes in the class room, Outline Format is the most suitable one to use. When we are taking lecture notes Split-Page Format becomes most suitable as it consist of details as well as summery. Diagram/Pattern Format and Mind-mapping method can be considered as visual methods. Although Diagram Format method is easy to use and learn than the Mind-Mapping method, there occur problems in expanding data area in Diagram method. Mind-Mapping method is more famous among the present generation as it vast many abilities.

As the first thing, it is to choose the most suitable Note-making method for the subject. It helps to remember more information that can be used in a later time. And also it makes much easier to recall the subject.


Study Contributions

Through this research I was able to discover different Note-Making methods which suits for FEST modules. By then I could acquire the skills to make effective notes. Additionally I was introduced to technical writing criteria. It helped me to recognize the main qualities and behavior of a technical writing system. More overly this report made me aware on the requirements of a dissertation and its main sections. Most of the knowledge has to be caught from web sources. And that thing taught me, how I can contribute soft tools for such a research. Mainly I could accomplish most of the objectives as I was expected.

Recommendations for Future Development in Note-making Methods

For future development in Note-Making, we can use more abbreviations and short hands for a better time management. We can improve this skill by involving with official shorthand language more time. As a memory aid mnemonics can be added to our notes. With highlighting, annotating and underlining key points, we will be able to notice most important factors. Dating and numbering pages will also be helpful when organizing the lesions. Making notes on our own words helps to comprehend the lesion. There should be a space for critical comments as well as blank spaces. So I think that sort of thing can make a change in Note-making methods in near future.


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