Advice on organizing notes

Posted on

TA Emily Schroeder ’20 offers this advice on organizing your notes, and offers her example below. Find the best note-taking strategy that works for you, to improve how you learn to interpret primary and secondary sources, and prepare for our two open-book, open-note exams. 

Hello Everyone,

I know there were several students who have been asking how to organize their notes for both class and the midterm/final exams. Here are some tips and examples of what I did in class last year that might be helpful. There are many ways to prepare notes so if you have a style that works for you that is great.

Attached is a copy of my notes from Week 2 in PDF format.

– Hyperlink the PowerPoint slides and the annotated sources so you can quickly access material

– Pull out key facts/information from the PowerPoint

– Pick out key passages and themes from the annotated sources. Explain the quotes so you remember why they are important in 5 weeks.

Organizing your notes shouldn’t take you too long to do after each class and will be significantly easier than saving it all to do right before the exam. The key thing to do is make sure your notes/quotes are easily accessible and make sense in whichever formate works best for you.

Hope this helps and please reach out if you need any other help.

Emily Schroeder, TA