The Basics of Cornell Notes According to

December 22 20:15 2022
The Basics of Cornell Notes According to

The physical act of taking notes helps to cement the information in learners’ brains. It’s not just that note-takers have something to look back at later, either. Having a well-developed note-taking system helps learners organize ideas and summarize concepts, making it more likely that they will remember everything later.

What Are Cornell Notes?

While everyone has to experiment to find a note-taking method that works for them, there is one system that has been proven time and again to work. The system was developed by Prof. Walter Pauk in the 1950s and was called Cornell note-taking. According to, Prof. Pauk worked at Cornell University at the time, which explains the name. However, this note-taking method can be used by students of any age and education level.

Organization of Thoughts

The basic organizational strategy is simple. Just divide the page into three to four sections. A title section goes at the top of the page, followed by two columns with a 30/50 split in the middle, then a 5-7 line section at the bottom. There’s no need to be 100% exact. Evernote also offers templates for learners who would like to skip the prep work.

After the title come two crucial organizational categories. On the left, students place keywords and comments. In the much larger right-hand column, they take the notes, themselves. Some people use the left-hand column exclusively as an outline, while others use it as space for asking questions, taking note of key terms, or even recording hints and prompts to help with later studying. The bottom section is for a brief summary of the page’s contents.

Why Use Cornell Notes?

Cornell notes can give A Homework Reboot: Math Strategies and Writing Tips for ADHD Brains. However, it’s not just for students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. People with normally-functioning brains also find that the Cornell note-taking system helps them keep thoughts organized and remember material better. The reasons are simple. This organizational strategy creates:

  • A tendency toward more intentional note-taking.

  • Active summarizing, which requires a more advanced level of understanding.

  • Revision-ready notes that are organized in a logical way.

Every learner needs a slightly different set of strategies for success in the classroom or the lecture hall. Cornell notes are versatile enough to work for just about anyone but are structured in a way that keeps thoughts organized and helps to cement ideas in students’ minds. Those who want to learn more about how to use Cornell note-taking and other advanced learning methods to retain information more effectively can browse around this website to see what works for other learners.

Stay Organized to Learn Better

Very few people remember every word that’s spoken during a class or even every key concept from a lecture. That’s why note-taking is so essential. It gives students the opportunity not just to improve retention of the material at the moment but also to go back and review it later to develop an even better understanding. Cornell notes offer a fantastic framework for this essential learning process regardless of a student’s learning style or educational level.

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