The Cornell Note Taking System
Cornell Notes Research
Cornell Notes Video
Taking Notes from a Discussion
• Use topics and questions introduced by lecturer to guide note-taking.
• Use symbols to identify significant ideas.
• Include your own responses in your notes.
• Develop questions.
• Refer to textbook when connections arise.
Taking Notes from Literature and Poetry
• Include significance of title, publication date, and author information.
• Identify point of view of speaker.
• Identify setting, important characters, plot, conflicts, theme, and any figurative
• Highlight significant quotes/passages.
• Identify tone, theme, and poetic devices such as repetition, imagery and
• Make connections from one chapter/verse to another.
• Predict what might happen next or by the end of the piece.
Taking Notes in Mathematics
• Take notes just as in any other class, with all of the information on the right hand side of the page. Write the problem on the left side and solve it on the right. Then go back and fill in with key terms or example equations.
• As you listen to a lecture, write out any key terms or questions on the left (example: What is the Distance Formula?). Then on the right, give the formula.
Taking Notes from a Guest Speaker
• Identify the speaker's name and title (example. Mrs. Joan Smith, Admissions Counselor for the University of ________.)
• Create questions for the speaker the night before the presentation, or while the speaker is speaking. Then ask questions and write your answers on the right hand side of the page, across from the question it answers.
• Write down details of the person's life and/or job.
• Keep track of any obstacles the person faced in his or her life.
Taking Notes from a Field Trip
• Identify the date and location of the field trip.
• Write out a few questions to ask the person giving the tour or leading the
experience. Answer them on the right hand side of the paper, across from the
• Write out facts about the location (example: If you are going to a college or
university, write down how many students attend the school and/or how much it
costs to attend).
• Write out your favorite part of the trip and include as part of the summary at the
end of note page (example: I really enjoyed touring the library at The University
of California, San Diego because it is the largest library I have ever seen.)
• Write down any further questions throughout the field trip. Ask the leader or teacher for answers.