Why Take Notes in Lectures?

By Roberta WoodsReference and Instructional Services Librarian

Intending to help new students in law school, a new
LibGuide on the Law Library site offers brief explanations about five note taking methods or systems that have some track record when it comes to learning, which takes up the other part of the LibGuide. There is evidence to support note taking in lectures. Students have a 50% chance of recalling noted information on a test. Non-noted information gives the student only a 15% chance of recalling the information on a test (Aiken, Thomas, Shennum, 1975).

Did you ever wonder about what the professor said that you didn’t note? Are omissions important or are they of no consequence? In the “Omissions in Notes,” several clues are listed about what you’re not including in your notes.

Each note taking method has a best use depending on the circumstance. You are welcome and encouraged to use them all.

Any system is better than none. Think on paper.

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