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Note-Taking and Reading

This section provides information about taking notes in class and skills for reading textbooks.

How can I get the most out of my textbook readings?

While college textbooks can feel intimidating, they are one of the best resources for helping you master information you learn in class. This 3-step process to reading your chapters will help you manage challenging reading effectively and confidently.

Should I complete the assigned reading before or after class?

Reading before class will help you have a better understanding of what the professor will cover and will help you focus on the most important aspects of the material. If you are not able to complete the reading before class, do not stress. Spend 15 minutes skimming the information as a “mental warmup” for class. Then, read the chapter after you have attended class.

Should I take notes while I read?

Yes! But before you write down information, reflect on its importance and whether you understand what you are reading. This will avoid taking notes on “autopilot”, which may not help you retain information well. It is also helpful to connect your notes from the textbook to your notes from class. 

What are some tips for effective note taking?

This resource by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provides some helpful tips.

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