Develop your style

Don’t worry about your grammar or spelling while taking lecture notes. You can always correct your spelling when you read over your notes. Try and use your own words as far as possible. It’ll make your notes easier to study.



Mapping is a note-taking method which relates each fact or idea to another fact or idea. It’s a more graphic representation of concepts because you’re illustrating relationships visually. It’s most useful for when lecture content is heavy but well-organised. If your lecturer is talking about a topic like extrasensory perceptions and breaking it up into components, your map could look like this:



If you notice that the lecturer is following a very distinct format, like outlining the characteristics of different periods, you may be able to follow by drawing columns with appropriate headings. For instance, if your lecturer is discussing the Rwandan Genocide your chart could like this:


This method can also be called the dash or indent method. Basically, general information will be further to the left of your page, with specific points indented to the right. You can indicate levels of importance/specificity through the indent. It’s helpful for studying because you can cover the indented information and ask yourself questions about the main point.




Further reading


Division of Lifelong Learning College Success Programms, University of Maine. 2011. Tutor Program Tip - Taking Lecture Notes. Available: [2013, May 27].

Student Services, Harvard Law School. 2013. Taking Notes. Available: [2013, May 27].