Undergraduate Studies

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Effective Note-taking

It is very useful to acquire the skill of effective note-taking when preparing for an essay. This will help you at all stages of the research and writing of your essay.

Remember that effective note taking is a skill that once acquired will stay with you for life and be useful not just in writing essays but also in everyday life.

There is no one specific way of making notes that you need to adopt, it is a case of whatever works best for you.

If you feel most comfortable colour-coding and cross-referencing your quotation list with your essay structure, for example, that is the way you should work.

You can also use spider diagrams, bullet points, numbering – anything that will help you to get the best aid for your work.

The main thing to remember about note-taking is to look for key words in sentences and/or key phrases in chapters etc. that will help you to connect the idea you are trying to express in your essay with the points in the notes you are taking.

The particular way that you make the notes is very much a matter of individual preference and is much less important than how well they work for you which is the most important aspect of all note-taking, for whatever type of essay you are writing!

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