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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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4.2 Making notes in a notebook

Getting key ideas down in shorthand form is also useful when making notes in a notebook. You will practise this technique in the following activity.

Activity 12

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Read the 'Improving health and wellbeing' [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] text again and make some brief notes. Try to write as concisely as you can. For example, these are the notes I made after reading the first paragraph (Figure 9).

Author's notes against paragraph 1 of practice text
Figure 9 Author's notes against paragraph 1 of practice text

After you finish making your notes compare them with mine.

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Figure 10 shows the notes I made on the text.

Author's notes on the practice text
Figure 10 Author's notes on the practice text

This strategy is effective because it forces you to select the most important information and, in particular, the information that will help you to write your essay or prepare for an exam.

The drawback with this strategy is that these notes just reproduce the key ideas in the order followed by the original text. To gain a deeper understanding of the text and to remember the key information it contains, you need to reorganise your notes in a way that is meaningful and memorable to you.