Note Taking Sentence Method

The sentence method in note-taking is easy and fast.
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Academic advisers encourage students to make outlines, highlight and underline words, and create charts to organize information. If that's not possible, academic advisers recommend students use the sentence method for note-taking in classes that are moving very quickly or when the information is not presented in an organized way. For the sentence method, students write each note on a new line, using a complete thought or sentence, with no attempt to organize the information.

Record everything the instructor says. Write your notes with a pen and paper or a laptop, whichever is more comfortable and time-efficient for you.

Write each thought or point on a separate line. Start a new line with each new idea.

Develop a shorthand that is easy for you to remember to help you save time and capture more information while taking notes.

Number each line. This will help you to recall information when you review.

Review your notes immediately after class to organize them. East Carolina University recommends taking this time to edit the notes and organize them into headings, subheadings and main ideas. You can also add supporting details.

  • If you take your notes with a laptop, it will be easier to organize and edit them later.
  • Add a visual element to your notes to bring together main ideas, such as colored highlighting or symbols.

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.