Taking Notes: Outline Method
Taking notes is not a skill that comes naturally to many students, but it is also not a skill that is taught in many classrooms. Note Taking is one of the most important study skills for High School Students and College Students. Because note taking is so important to educational success, it is important that students learn proper methods for taking thorough notes. The outline method of note taking is one that will look familiar to many students.
The outline method of note taking starts on the left-hand side of the paper. The most important points are placed at the left edge of the paper. Less important points, which are typically ideas that support the main points, are indented to the right. Each set of less important points is indented more to the right. It is easy to see, at a glance, the level of importance of the different ideas because of the distance between them and the major points.
An alternate form, which requires a little more thought, is to start with minor points to the left and indenting as points get more important. The alternate outline form is best used in lectures where minor ideas are used to build up to the most important ideas.
With either form, indentation is enough to show the importance of the ideas and the relationship between them. If you would like something more concrete, however, you can opt for using dashes, bullets or a Roman numeral and letter combination for further emphasis. For the sake of speed and being able to focus on the lecture, you may want to consider adding the marks after class when you review your notes.
As the name suggests, the Outline method is a outline of the material, divided into Main topics, SubTopics, and details. Outline notes look something like this:
I. First main topic
The outline method of note taking has several advantages. The outline method not only shows the content and main points of the lecture, but also shows the relationship between points. With an outline, it is easy to identify the main points of the information, and reviewing can be as simple as turning main points into questions. In addition, the outline is set up so simply that it takes very little, if any, editing for notes to be easily understood.
A major benefit of the outline method is the ability to focus on the lecture. Outlining does not require speed or great detail in the writing, both of which take away from your ability to listen to what is said. Outlining does require that you pay enough attention to the lecture to be able to outline the key ideas, which can help you retain more of the information.
There are some disadvantages to the outlining method. The outline method can be difficult to use in science and mathematical courses because those courses need more of an ability to show sequential relationships than outlining offers. Courses with fast-paced lectures may also be difficult to outline, partially because outlining requires the note-taker to think about organization.
For teachers, you may wish to familiarize students with different styles of note taking in addition to Outlining, such as charting and mapping. There is plenty of information online or you can use a Lesson plan for taking notes.
The outline method is somewhat familiar to most students, and can be easily used for many classes. Although it does require the student to think about how to organize the notes, the outline method is simple in design and allows students to focus on the lecture. The outline method of note taking is an excellent way to ensure your educational success.
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