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Note taking

Note taking is a technique that will help you write your essays, dissertation and help you revise for your exams. This useful skill allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your subject, record and organise key information taken from your lectures and research. 

Reading Efficiently advice sheet from Library Support at Loughborough University looks at the different reading techniques such as skimming, scanning and speed reading.

Taking Notes advice sheet from Library Support at Loughborough University summarises the importance of taking notes and gives useful tips on how to take notes in class, from written sources and how to condense notes.

Note taking can be done in many different forms, so find a technique that suits you:

 

Mind maps (visual form of note-taking, where a central idea expands outward through use of colours, images and words)

This Mind Mapping document created by the Writing Centre Learning Guide at The University of Adelaide, tells you what a Mind Map is, how to create one and what the benefits are.

Illumine Training offers useful Mind Map examples on their website page that you can download,  the examples are from a range of different subject areas,some are hand drawn and some have been produced on Mind Mapping software. 

In the library, we also have Inspiration software available on the PCs on the ground floor, 1st floor and on 5 laptops available from the HCA entrance. This software offers different techniques such as Concept Mapping (links concepts and ideas together with words), Mind Mapping, Webbing (brainstorming method in form of a visual map) and Outlining (used to organise thoughts and information with a heading and subheadings).

 

Index cards (often known as summary cards which are used to summarise information on a certain topic)

This Index Card on the Skills for OU Study website page from The Open University shows you an example of an index card and what to write on the front and back to help aid your revision.

 

Using abbreviations (shortened versions of words that will save you time when taking notes)

The Helpful abbreviations for speedy note-taking handout created by the Academic Skills Unit at Portsmouth University, contains a list of common abbreviations that can be used when note-taking from lectures. It explains two common techniques that can be applied to any word.

This How to take lectures notes quickly website page from essayzone.co.uk has a list of common academic abbreviations and symbols, which you can use in your lectures and whilst revising.

 

Highlighting and annotating (identifying and then highlighting a main point) (summarising in your own words an argument or idea/concept)

Highlighting and annotating by Study Success at Sussex has a useful exercise to help you practice identifying the key areas in a text using highlighting and annotation.

Reading and Study Strategies: Annotating a text by Writers' Center Eastern Washington University has a step to step guide on how to annotate a source. 

 

Recording your notes (listening to your own notes on the go) 

Recording your notes website page by Skills for OU Study at The Open University explains how recording your notes can be useful and tips for recording. 

 

Once you have reviewed your notes and done further reading you will be ready to start writing your essay, have a look at our writing and critical thinking resource pages to help you get started. 

 

 

Maths

MathCentre website has useful resources including leaflets, videos, guides, tests, handouts and workbooks. This website allows you to learn, practice and revise.

Mathematics Learning Support Centre website at Loughborough University offers useful resources on numeracy tests and solutions, diagnostic tests, statistic leaflets and formulae leaflets.

Study Skills in Mathematics website pages by The Skills Team at The University of Hull offers resources on algebra, arithmetic, calculus, statistics and trigonometry.

 

If you need to install SPSS on your own PC you can purchase the licence from the Media Shop in FML for £5 and this licence will last a year.
We also have SPSS available on PCs in The Sheppard-Worlock Library.

Presentations/Exams

Preparing and Writing Academic Posters

Preparing and Writing Academic Posters

How to Design an Effective Presentation

Presentation Checklist

 

Exams 

Preparing for Exams

Managing Seen Exam Questions

Managing Unseen Exam Questions

Motivation and Double-thinking

 

Flashcards are a set of cards that have on one side a word, an image, a date or a formula and the summary or the answer on the other side. Here you are using your memory to recall a concept or theme whilst processing the clue on the front of the card. 

You can make these flashcards yourself or you can go to GoConqr which allows you to set up flashcards on your PC or laptop and practice using them online. Evernote Peek and Chegg Flashcards apps can also be used on your Ipad and Iphone for free. 

Hints and Tips

Three Motivational Tips for Writing

Preventing Procrastination

Tips for Active Reading

8 Tips for Studying Effectively

Staying organised throughout your academic journey will help you keep track of your goals and aid with coursework planning and revision. You can download a weekly planner app onto your phone or iPad such as Week Plan or Planner Pro for free. These apps are great tools to help you manage your time.

Find out how good your time management is on MindTools website page, then calculate your score and evaluate your ability.

 

Don't forget we have lots of resources and handouts available on our writing mentors pages including tips on how to help you start your writing, structuring your essay and how to use grammar and punctuation correctly. Our top tip is to download Grammarly which can be added to Chrome for free can help identify grammatical mistakes.

 

Need guidance in using the library resources for your subject?

Book an individual tutorial by contacting your Faculty Librarian. They can help you choose the right information sources for your topic and show you how to search the online resources effectively. These sessions normally last for one hour and they are most useful when you are preparing a specific assignment.

For more information have a look at our information guides.

CAT software

Dragon (speech recognition software with computer commands, dictation and speech to typing)

User guides, quick start cards, cheat-sheets, videos and workbooks are available on the Nuance website

 

Inspiration (visual mapping to help learners develop and organise ideas)

On the Inspiration website there is a useful free self-guided training programme available to help you use and practice inspiration, with an introduction to inspiration, tips for lecture notes, planning and studying. You can also find How-To Training Videos from Atomic Learning, that covers maps, graphics, topics, symbols and presentation manager.

 

Jaws (screen reader with text to speech output or braille display)

On the Freedom Scientific website there are free Training downloads available. 

 

Kurzweil (reading, writing and study platform with text to speech software)

Georgian College's Centre for Access YouTube video gives a comprehensive overview of the software. On the Kurzweil Education website there are free webinars where you can learn the basics or brush up on your skills. If you miss a webinar you can watch them on-demand.

 

Read and Write (reads on-screen text aloud, researching and checks written work)

Texthelp website has free featured videos and training guides that look in-depth at reading, researching, tool bar checking tools and study skills. Texthelp also have a YouTube video that demonstrates how to use Google Chrome inside Google Documents. You can also access Texthelp Training portal which offers quick reference guides and quizzes. 

 

ZoomText (Integrated magnification and screen reading program that enlarges and reads aloud everything on the PC)

ZoomText website has recorded webinars available which include top tips and looks in-depth at large print, camera and keyboard settings, etc. Ai Asquared also has a range of ZoomText YouTube videos with top tips and tricks. 

 

 

Note taking

Note taking is a technique that will help you write your essays, dissertation and help you revise for your exams. This useful skill allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your subject, record and organise key information taken from your lectures and research. 

Reading Efficiently advice sheet from Library Support at Loughborough University looks at the different reading techniques such as skimming, scanning and speed reading.

Taking Notes advice sheet from Library Support at Loughborough University summarises the importance of taking notes and gives useful tips on how to take notes in class, from written sources and how to condense notes.

Note taking can be done in many different forms, so find a technique that suits you:

 

Mind maps (visual form of note-taking, where a central idea expands outward through use of colours, images and words)

This Mind Mapping document created by the Writing Centre Learning Guide at The University of Adelaide, tells you what a Mind Map is, how to create one and what the benefits are.

Illumine Training offers useful Mind Map examples on their website page that you can download,  the examples are from a range of different subject areas,some are hand drawn and some have been produced on Mind Mapping software. 

In the library, we also have Inspiration software available on the PCs on the ground floor, 1st floor and on 5 laptops available from the HCA entrance. This software offers different techniques such as Concept Mapping (links concepts and ideas together with words), Mind Mapping, Webbing (brainstorming method in form of a visual map) and Outlining (used to organise thoughts and information with a heading and subheadings).

 

Index cards (often known as summary cards which are used to summarise information on a certain topic)

This Index Card on the Skills for OU Study website page from The Open University shows you an example of an index card and what to write on the front and back to help aid your revision.

 

Using abbreviations (shortened versions of words that will save you time when taking notes)

The Helpful abbreviations for speedy note-taking handout created by the Academic Skills Unit at Portsmouth University, contains a list of common abbreviations that can be used when note-taking from lectures. It explains two common techniques that can be applied to any word.

This How to take lectures notes quickly website page from essayzone.co.uk has a list of common academic abbreviations and symbols, which you can use in your lectures and whilst revising.

 

Highlighting and annotating (identifying and then highlighting a main point) (summarising in your own words an argument or idea/concept)

Highlighting and annotating by Study Success at Sussex has a useful exercise to help you practice identifying the key areas in a text using highlighting and annotation.

Reading and Study Strategies: Annotating a text by Writers' Center Eastern Washington University has a step to step guide on how to annotate a source. 

 

Recording your notes (listening to your own notes on the go) 

Recording your notes website page by Skills for OU Study at The Open University explains how recording your notes can be useful and tips for recording. 

 

Once you have reviewed your notes and done further reading you will be ready to start writing your essay, have a look at our writing and critical thinking resource pages to help you get started. 

 

 

Maths

MathCentre website has useful resources including leaflets, videos, guides, tests, handouts and workbooks. This website allows you to learn, practice and revise.

Mathematics Learning Support Centre website at Loughborough University offers useful resources on numeracy tests and solutions, diagnostic tests, statistic leaflets and formulae leaflets.

Study Skills in Mathematics website pages by The Skills Team at The University of Hull offers resources on algebra, arithmetic, calculus, statistics and trigonometry.

 

If you need to install SPSS on your own PC you can purchase the licence from the Media Shop in FML for £5 and this licence will last a year.
We also have SPSS available on PCs in The Sheppard-Worlock Library.

Presentations/Exams

Preparing and Writing Academic Posters

Preparing and Writing Academic Posters

How to Design an Effective Presentation

Presentation Checklist

 

Exams 

Preparing for Exams

Managing Seen Exam Questions

Managing Unseen Exam Questions

Motivation and Double-thinking

 

Flashcards are a set of cards that have on one side a word, an image, a date or a formula and the summary or the answer on the other side. Here you are using your memory to recall a concept or theme whilst processing the clue on the front of the card. 

You can make these flashcards yourself or you can go to GoConqr which allows you to set up flashcards on your PC or laptop and practice using them online. Evernote Peek and Chegg Flashcards apps can also be used on your Ipad and Iphone for free. 

Hints and Tips

Three Motivational Tips for Writing

Preventing Procrastination

Tips for Active Reading

8 Tips for Studying Effectively

Staying organised throughout your academic journey will help you keep track of your goals and aid with coursework planning and revision. You can download a weekly planner app onto your phone or iPad such as Week Plan or Planner Pro for free. These apps are great tools to help you manage your time.

Find out how good your time management is on MindTools website page, then calculate your score and evaluate your ability.

 

Don't forget we have lots of resources and handouts available on our writing mentors pages including tips on how to help you start your writing, structuring your essay and how to use grammar and punctuation correctly. Our top tip is to download Grammarly which can be added to Chrome for free can help identify grammatical mistakes.

 

Need guidance in using the library resources for your subject?

Book an individual tutorial by contacting your Faculty Librarian. They can help you choose the right information sources for your topic and show you how to search the online resources effectively. These sessions normally last for one hour and they are most useful when you are preparing a specific assignment.

For more information have a look at our information guides.

CAT software

Dragon (speech recognition software with computer commands, dictation and speech to typing)

User guides, quick start cards, cheat-sheets, videos and workbooks are available on the Nuance website

 

Inspiration (visual mapping to help learners develop and organise ideas)

On the Inspiration website there is a useful free self-guided training programme available to help you use and practice inspiration, with an introduction to inspiration, tips for lecture notes, planning and studying. You can also find How-To Training Videos from Atomic Learning, that covers maps, graphics, topics, symbols and presentation manager.

 

Jaws (screen reader with text to speech output or braille display)

On the Freedom Scientific website there are free Training downloads available. 

 

Kurzweil (reading, writing and study platform with text to speech software)

Georgian College's Centre for Access YouTube video gives a comprehensive overview of the software. On the Kurzweil Education website there are free webinars where you can learn the basics or brush up on your skills. If you miss a webinar you can watch them on-demand.

 

Read and Write (reads on-screen text aloud, researching and checks written work)

Texthelp website has free featured videos and training guides that look in-depth at reading, researching, tool bar checking tools and study skills. Texthelp also have a YouTube video that demonstrates how to use Google Chrome inside Google Documents. You can also access Texthelp Training portal which offers quick reference guides and quizzes. 

 

ZoomText (Integrated magnification and screen reading program that enlarges and reads aloud everything on the PC)

ZoomText website has recorded webinars available which include top tips and looks in-depth at large print, camera and keyboard settings, etc. Ai Asquared also has a range of ZoomText YouTube videos with top tips and tricks.