The systems are called the Mapping Method and the Outlining Method.
The Mapping is a technique that uses comprehension and concentration skills which become a note taking form which relates each fact or idea to every other fact or idea. Mapping is basically a graphic representation of the content of a lecture. It is a method that maximizes active participation, affords immediate knowledge as to its understanding, and emphasizes critical thinking. This format helps you to visually track your lecture regardless of conditions. Not a whole lot of thinking is needed and relationships are visually seen.
On hand written paper mapping would look something like this.
However, since I have messy handwriting, I like to revise the mapping method to be more keyboard friendly in order to make study guides. Which turns your mapping method into the outlining method. I highly recommend typing out your hand written notes and printing them for study sessions.
The outlining method is basically listening and then writing in the points in an organized pattern based on space indention. Place major points farthest to the left. Indent each more specific point to the right. Levels of importance will be indicated by distance away from the major point. Indention can be as simple as or as complex as labeling the indentations with numbers or bullet points. Markings are not necessary as space relationships will indicate the major/minor points. This system is very well-organized if done right. Outlining records content as well as relationships. However, it requires more thought in class for accurate organization.
The outline technique of the above mapping method picture would look like this.
Note: everything in red is not typed out during the study guide creation. I am just trying to show you how to relate the points.
- Study skills (main point)
- Described by
- Resources (resources are described by study skills)
- Trace tip sheets (are a part of resources)
- Study skills workshops (are a part of resources)
- Motivated by
- Results (results are motivated by study skills)
- Increased comprehension (part of results)
- Higher marks (part of results)
- Time management strategies (included in study skills)
- Note taking (included in study skills)
- Cognitive strategies (included in study skills)
- Reorganizing ideas (comes from cognitive strategies)
By reorganizing the visual mapping system from handwritten notes into electronic form of the outline method, you will force yourself to understand the concepts of the lecture, and learn two note taking methods. If you are taking notes on your laptop then go ahead and start off with the outlining method from the get go.
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