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Information & Advice

...for Students

...for Staff

...on Assistive Technology

Note Taking

Note taking is used for a variety of purposes, for example:

It is best to find a style that suits your learning style. Some students prefer a more visual style; others a linear approach. Some examples of the different styles are included below.

The next two examples are pattern or mindmap notes. There are also software packages available that perform a similar function, for example Inspiration, Mind Manager, Mind Genius. Look out for free-to-download mindmapping software too.



Linear notes

Not all dyslexic people think in a holistic way and love concept maps! Some like linear notes.

This page uses a linear style. It is taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell (Palgrave 2003), which is an extremely useful book

Strategies for making linear notes

1        Good note-making: general
1.1      think before you write
1.2     keep notes brief
1.3     keep notes organised
1.4     use your own words
1.5     leave a wide margin and
         spaces  – to add notes later

2       Useful strategies
2.1     note key words and main ideas
2.2    write phrases, not sentences
2.3    use abbreviations
2.4    use headings
2.5    number points
2.6    make the page memorable –
         with colour, pictures etc
2.7    link up points – use arrows,
         dotted lines, boxes, colour
2.8    note sources of info exactly
2.9    write quotations in a
         different colour

3       Unhelpful strategies
3.1     copying chunks
3.2    writing more notes than you can
         use again
3.3    writing out notes several times
         to make them neater

4       Tidying messy notes
4.1     draw a box round sections of
         notes in different colours to
         make them stand out
4.2    use a ruler to divide the page
         up between sections
4.3    draw a ring round floating bits
         of information
4.4    link stray information by
         colour-coding it