Adapted from Cornell Note-taking

Start by setting up your note pages into this format:

Cornell Notetaking


  • Write telegraphically: Do not write out every word, use abbreviations, symbols, etc.
  • Write on the right side of the page (Notes section in the above diagram)

Identify the Main Question or Idea

  • Write these on the left side of the page
  • Can be a keyword, phrase, question or diagram


  • Say out loud what you have learned in your own words
  • Cover up the right side of your notes and recite the keywords, phrases, questions until you can answer them or provide detail on your own


  • How does the information fit with what you already know?
  • Make it personal, create examples, analogies
  • After reflecting, add comments, illustrations, and questions in your notes
  • As you reflect you will take OWNERSHIP of the information


  • Review should be regular and routine
  • Use Distributed Practice:
    • The 1st review should occur after working for one hour and after your break – Study, take a break, review
    • The 2nd review should be within one day of the first review
    • The 3rd review should be within one week of the second review
    • The 4th review should be within a month or prior to a test

Notetaking Technology: The Smartpen

The Echo™ smartpen from Livescribe records everything you hear, say and write, while linking your audio recordings to your notes. Quickly replay audio from your Livescribe paper, a computer, or a mobile device – all with a simple tap on your handwritten notes.
Learn more at

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