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Get Students’ Notes Organized Using the Cornell Note-Taking System

cornellWatching how your students take notes can sometimes be troublesome, especially if they have no organizational method whatsoever. This doesn’t have to be the case. Teach your students to use the Cornell Note-Taking System.  Developed by Dr. Walter Pauk in the 1950s at Cornell University, these notes provide a structure for students to review and analyze important information. The system is easy and will give them an organized way to format and take notes. Students can use this system throughout their school years, and better note-taking will improve their study skills.


Use these instructions to get students started with the Cornell Note-Taking System:

  1. Start with a fresh sheet of notebook paper. At the top of the page, write your name, the date, and the topic of the class or the discussion.
  2. Draw a horizontal line across the bottom of the paper about one-fourth of the way up the page (see section C on example).
  3. Draw a vertical line about two-and-a-half inches from the left edge of the page until you reach the horizontal line (see section B on example).
  4. The largest section of the page is where you will take notes. During the class, write key points and facts. (see section A on example).
  5. After the discussion, use section B to record any questions you have about your notes in section A. In section C, write a summary of your notes.
  6. Study these notes for a few minutes every day to master and retain information you’ve learned.




About the author


Lori L does many things here at Simple Solutions, including writing blogs and math problems. She has an Elementary Education degree from Cleveland State University and taught many grades during her 15 years at St. Paschal Baylon School in Ohio, the first school that ever used Simple Solutions. She and her husband have two amazing children. She loves all things Cleveland including the Cleveland Ballet, Cavs, Indians, and even the Browns.

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