Writing Academic Essays: Note Taking Ideas
It’s been said that the memory of a goldfish lasts about three seconds. There will be times when you are about to start writing an academic essay that you have no memory of the topic you have to write on and you begin to feel a bit like a goldfish yourself. There are many ways to hone your memory to prodigious levels but they all take time. Instead we will be going through some methods of note taking you can benefit from as an amateur.
- The good old fashioned pen and paper
- Audio notes
In many ways, technology has spoiled us. There’s an app for everything after all. Way back before that was the case, however, the most influential scholars in history used pencils on paper, rocks on walls or chalk on tablets (not that type). The simplicity of this medium can be surprisingly refreshing and as an added bonus, it will never interrupt you with social media. It is just as susceptible to water damage though so be prepared to keep it dry.
Technology is not evil, it is merely a tool that reflects the intentions of its user. You can pull out your device of choice and (with permission) record your entire lecture for review at a later point. This may seem a bit time consuming but the option always exists to replay your ‘notes’ at several times the normal speed. If you do this often enough you will be pleasantly surprised at the speeds of speech you will be capable of accurately deciphering.
Make friends in your lectures. Do not fall into the trap of picking them based on looks (either attractiveness or ‘looking’ intelligent). Take the time to listen to what they say and how they say it and make your decision based on that. The purpose of this exercise is to start a study group that focuses on exchanging any notes compiled during the class. This can give several different perspectives on the same topic and allow all members to benefit from each others insights. Additionally if you happen to miss a class, you already know how to find out what happened. This requires participation so you need to make sure that no one slacks of or tries to mooch. Especially you since it’s your idea.
Your notes will definitely form a great foundation for an essay that will surely impress!