1. Preparing For Class
- Watch a YouTube video, about the subject you will be taking notes on tomorrow, before the class if you don’t want to do the reading.
2. In Class
- Handwrite Your Notes Instead of Typing Them for Better Memory Retention
- Use your own standardized shorthand
- Practice active listening
- Stick to keywords and very short sentences.
- Consider using the Mind-mapping Method or Cornell Method of note-taking or a personal hybrid mixture.
3. After Class
LPT: College students, attend your professor’s office hours and ask for letters of recommendation at the end of the semester.
- No matter whether you arrive early or late, sit in the first row.
- Recap and complete any missing bits: Spend five minutes right after the lecture to complete any missing information
3.1. Writing A Paper
Here is my personal technique for organizing my research. It’s time consuming, but I find it extremely useful. When doing your reading, keep a word document open and transcribe passages from the books or articles, with page numbers. Not just quotes you intend to use, but the key points in every source, so that you can review them easily without going back to the book every time. A good writer will stop occasionally to summarize succinctly what he’s just said. Collect these key sentences in your notes and you will always have an easy guide to each of your sources, not to mention that simply writing it all down will help it stick in your brain. 90% of what you’ve copied out won’t make it into your paper (I sometimes wind up with 30 pages of notes for a 15 page paper), but you will be able to easily copy-paste quotes into your paper, and remember how they fit into the original article, so you don’t risk misinterpreting.
Outlines are annoying, but it’ll cut the time it take you to write a paper in half. It lets you see how your ideas fit together, so you can move them around and organize them without having to re-write entire paragraphs or pages. If you write without outlines you probably find that you often get stuck on a certain point and can’t move forward. The outline will let you progressively flesh out the whole paper without hitting a writer’s block. Use the outline to strategically place your quotes and make sure they’re all well-supported. The word you should always be keeping in mind is “Because.” Every claim you make should be “because of” several examples from your sources. Every quote should have a “he says this because…” If you can’t think of any “because”s for a certain idea, it should not be in your paper. Once you have an outline, all you should need to do is fill it in with transition and topic sentences.
The intro and conclusion paragraphs should be last things you write. In the course of writing a paper you will almost definitely reach conclusions or think of new ideas that didn’t occur to you when you set out. If you get too attached to your original intro and thesis statement, you risk fudging your results to fit your hypothesis, when you should really make your thesis fit your findings. Your introduction should be written like you’re trying to explain the paper to a friend who doesn’t know anything about the topic. Your conclusion should be written like you’re trying to explain to your professor why your paper is important.
Topic sentences: It should be possible to read only the first and last sentences of each paragraph and still understand what your paper is saying. Not only should they capture the point of the paragraph, they should indicate how one paragraph leads to the other.
3.3. While Studying On Your Own
- Maintain an Anti-Distraction List on Google Keep, as was mentioned in the Google Keep post.
- Leave your desk only after cleaning it