How to Take Notes in English Like a Pro
“Do I really need tips on how to take notes? I mean, I wasn’t planning on taking notes in the first place!” OK, we get where you’re coming from, but know that you should definitely still stick to taking notes when learning English, but that you should upgrade that skill by finding the most efficient way to take notes to accommodate for your style of learning and the language learning activities that work best for you.
Other than that, you should also consider turning to one of the leading language schools in Los Angeles to begin your English-learning journey because, to be honest, it’s better than going it alone. But first, how about that note taking?
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What is the best note taking method?
There is no one, single, ideal method for taking notes when learning English that works for everybody equally well. If there were, we’re quite sure we’d know about it. All of us are different, all of us learn in different ways, and all of us take notes using different styles.
There are, however, various methods for taking notes that help you apply some structure to your, potentially, hectic note-taking endeavors. Now, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, we’ve all been there, but take a look at these four methods, they’ll greatly help you with organizing it all.
Outline method - This is, probably, the most popular method for writing down information out there. It employs bullet points for different topics and hierarchical note structure to emphasize information of varying importance. Use the space on the left for main topics, and then proceed with indented subpoints.
- The pros of this method are that it allows you to highlight the key points, shortens review time, and provides your notes with a clean structure.
- The con is that it doesn’t work well with those English lessons that are not as structured as you would like them to be.
Cornell method - Now, this is among the most advanced note-taking methods in existence. It separates the page into four sections - one for title (upper section), one for keywords and questions (left third), one for main notes and key thoughts (middle and right two-thirds), and one for a brief summary of the lesson (lower section). Talk about organization, right?
- The pros include excellent organization, more effective reviews, and a slick look that makes for easy reading.
- The single biggest con of this method is the time that it takes to prepare the page and to learn how to use this method effectively for learning English.
Boxing method - Not, not the Tyson kind of boxing. This method takes advantage of, you’ve guessed it, boxes - You jot down important information by organizing it in different boxes within the page, each with a different topic. Now, this is a relatively new method of taking notes, but it’s gaining increased popularity, especially when it comes to learning English and other languages.
- The pros of this method are good organization and separation of topics, as well as that it allows you to easily focus on a single topic at a time.
- The con is that it can take you a while to draw all the boxes and to come to terms with naming them.
Mind-mapping - Finally, something for the more visual and artistic learners among you. Mind maps have been here for a long time, and they’re a note-taking style that employs a lot of visual cues to help you organize your notes. You can divide your topics into branches of varying importance, as well as interconnect them. Just write the main topic of the lesson first, and start branching out from there.
- The pros of map-making are that it’s extremely visually appealing, that it can be used for virtually every language lesson, no matter the structure, and that it allows for easy edits.
- The single con of this method is that it requires a bit more space, so you should definitely think about preparing several larger pieces of paper.
How do you take notes in English?
Now that you know all about the four different, most popular styles of note-taking in English, let’s see about sharing some tips that will help you make an easier time of taking notes employing any of these styles.
- Dates - Never forget to date your notes as you’re taking them.
- Omission - No need to write every single word down. Learn to omit the unnecessary information.
- Brevity - Keeping your notes short is a great way to save time and effort, while still keeping everything in check.
- Color - Using different colors for different topics can greatly help your organization.
- Headings - Use headings, as well as subheadings, to arrange the priority of your notes.
- Bullet points - Also, incorporate some bullet points and indentations that go with them.
- Space - Don’t cover all the space on the page with notes. Leave some for future ruminations.
And that’s about it. Couple these tips with one of the methods for taking notes, and you’re ready for anything your English language teacher has to throw at you!
“Now I know about notes, but what about leading language schools in Los Angeles?”
If you’re eager for some English learning, there’s only one private language school of English you should look for - College of English Language. Everything we do is in step with the times and the needs of our students, hence are current online English lesson deals.
If you’re struggling to understand everything at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, you should definitely contact us and see about arranging some English lessons. We’re here for all your language-learning needs.