In order to take full advantage of this system, you need to have a large loose leaf notebook, thereby allowing you to insert handouts from class, remove, and rearrange your notes for study purposes.
The unique feature of this note taking method is the layout of the margins on the page. You’ll need to create a 2.5 to 3 inch margin on the left side of the page, and a 2 or so inch margin at the bottom of the page. The loose leaf piece of notebook paper should look like the diagram below.
- Recall Area - is the vertical space on the left side of the margin. This column is not for writing notes, but strictly for review purposes. When you go through the process of reviewing your notes, you should write questions you could ask yourself in this area pertaining to the notes. By asking yourself questions related to the notes, and answering them, you will understand and retain the information from the notes.
- Note Taking Area - this is the largest space on your notebook paper and is used for taking notes. In this area you will write what your professor writes on the board, or says in lecture. It is important not to write everything down verbatim, but enough keywords and information that you could understand later during your review. Furthermore, you should learn how to short hand and abbreviate as much as possible.
- Summary Area - this is the area at the bottom of your notebook page. In this area you will summarize in a couple of sentences the information presented in your notes. It’s basically a quick review you could read to understand the broad meaning of the notes.
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