Tips for Taking Notes From Your Reading
Record the big picture
If you plan on keeping records of your reading, whether, for papers, comprehensive exams, or a thesis or dissertation, you should record, at a minimum, the big picture. Provide a brief overall summary of a few sentences or bullet points.
You don't have to read it all
Before you spend the time taking notes on the big picture, ask yourself if the article or book is worth your time. Not all you will read is worth taking notes on - and not all of it is worth finishing. Skilled researchers will encounter many more sources than they need and many will not be useful for their projects.
Wait to take notes
Sometimes when we begin reading a new source, it’s hard to determine what information is essential. Frequently it is only after reading a bit and pausing that we start to distinguish the critical details. If you start your notes too early, you might find yourself recording all of the features and writing everything down.
Benefits of Notetaking?
Creates a condensed record for study
A set of concise, well-organized notes from each class session gives you what you need for study, learning, and review after class.
Keeps you alert
Notetaking keeps your body active and involved and helps you avoid feelings of drowsiness or distraction.
Engages your mind.
Listening carefully and deciding what to include in notes keeps your mind actively involved with what you hear.