The Cornell Method has a very good proven track record. The method consists of the 5 R's:
One way to remember these 5 might be to imagine them written on the digits of the right (or left) hand:
- Thumb — Record
- Pointing finger — Reduce
- Middle finger — Recite
- Ring finger — Reflect
- Little finger — Review
Or, get an old plastic glove used for washing-up or gardening and write the R's on the glove. This should be fun. Imagine wearing and showing the glove to friends. They will say: "What's this? Why 5 R's? I thought there were only 3 R's: Reading, Riting, Rithmetic!"
Here is a simple picture of a notebook page that shows the notes on one column of a page, and keywords on the other column. It allows quick retrieval of different subjects, and a fast and easy way to review the notes.
To setup a page using the Cornell Method, follow these steps:
- Write your name, the subject, the date, and the page number on the top.
- Draw a line (or leave space) from top to bottom about 2" from the left side.
- Draw a line (or leave space) for a summary of the page's content.
When listening to a lecture, record the main ideas on the right side of the paper as a list or in paragraph form. Use abbreviations when possible. On the left side, write down a keyword that describes this section of notes. When you finish the page, summarize in a few sentences the main ideas of the whole page. When you finish class, review and clarify any keywords.