You are on page 1of 3

SAEP: Study Skills for School Success #9 Taking notes from textbooks 1.

Take several blank pages from your binder; if you are reviewing material youve already taken notes on, take the relevant pages and some blanks from your binder. 2. Organize your paper the same as for class notes. a. Put the date at the top of the page. b. Write down the name of the book and the chapter or section you will be taking notes from. c. Leave space in the left margin or between ideas for your own comments or questions. 3. Keep textbook notes separate from class notes. Use a separate notebook or a separate section in your loose-leaf notebook. 4. Get a general idea of what the reading is about. a. Read the introduction, headings and subheadings, and any paragraphs that summarize the content. b. Look at any illustrations or graphs and charts and read the captions. 5. Go back and read the chapter or section carefully. Look for the main ideas. 6. Try not to copy information directly from the textbook into your notes. Instead, summarize the information in your own words. This will help you to concentrate and learn. 7. If you do copy directly from the textbook, use quotation marks to indicate that it is a direct quotation. Take care to copy the quotation exactly. 8. Summarize the main ideas at the end of your notes and circle them.

SAEP: Study Skills for School Success #9 Taking notes from a short story 1. Take several blank pages from your binder; if you are reviewing material youve already taken notes on, take the relevant pages and some blanks from your binder. 2. Organize your paper the same as for class notes. a. Put the date at the top of the page. b. Write down the name of the book and the chapter, section, or story you will be taking notes from. c. Leave space in the left margin or between ideas for your own comments or questions. 3. Keep story notes separate from class notes. Use a separate notebook or a separate section in your loose-leaf notebook. 4. Look for pre-reading information. a. Read the About the author if there is one; see: i. what sort of stories this author usually writes ii. where he/she is from iii. when he/she may have written this story This will give you some idea of the storys setting (where and when it was set) and its genre (the kind of story it is). b. Review any vocabulary words that are provided so you will recognize them when you read the story. c. If there are any literary terms listed, read about them. When you read the story, see if you can recognize where the term is being used. 5. Skim through the story. a. Look for pictures; they may not be specifically from the story, but they will probably have something to do with the action, events, setting, or characters. b. Read footnotes the will help you understand references made within the story. 6. Read the story. Try to read it from beginning to end without any interruptions. DO NOT take notes yet. 7. After you finish reading the story, try to make a list of main/important characters without looking at the book. This will help you concentrate on the story. Try to write down a short description of and/or important information about each character. 8. Identify the setting (a location that sums up where the entire story takes place; the time period during which the story takes place; how long the events in the story last). 9. Summarize what happened in the story; that is, try to rewrite the entire story in your own words. Keep it very short 25 words or less; stick to the main ideas. 10. Skim the story again to make sure you didnt miss anything important in your notes. 11. If there are questions at the end about the story, try to answer them, even if they werent assigned. Answering them in your head is good, but writing down answers is better; sometimes teachers will let you use your notes on quizzes, and sometimes quiz questions come directly from the story questions. If you can answer the questions without re-reading your notes, you have a very strong understanding of the story and the authors purpose in writing the short story.

SAEP: Study Skills for School Success #9 Taking notes from a novel The easiest way to organize notes from a novel is to start taking them by chapter. 1. Take several blank pages from your binder; if you are reviewing material youve already taken notes on, take the relevant pages and some blanks from your binder. 2. Organize your paper the same as for class notes. a. Put the date at the top of the page. b. Write down the name of the book and the author. c. Write down the chapter you will be taking notes from. d. Leave space in the left margin or between ideas for your own comments or questions. 3. Keep story notes separate from class notes. Use a separate notebook or a separate section in your loose-leaf notebook. 4. Look for pre-reading information. a. Read the About the author if there is one; see: i. what sort of stories this author usually writes ii. where he/she is from iii. when he/she may have written this story This will give you some idea of the storys setting (where and when it was set) and its genre (the kind of story it is). b. Review any vocabulary words that are provided so you will recognize them when you read the story. 5. Skim through the chapter. a. Look for pictures; they may not be specifically from the story, but they will probably have something to do with the action, events, setting, or characters. b. Read footnotes the will help you understand references made within the story. 6. Read the chapter. Try to read it from beginning to end without any interruptions. DO NOT take notes yet. 7. After you finish reading a chapter, STOP. Try to make a list of main/important characters without looking at the book. This will help you concentrate on the story. Try to write down a short description of and/or important information about each character. 8. Identify the setting (a location that sums up where the chapter takes place; the time period during which the chapter takes place; how long the events in the story last). 9. Summarize what happened in the chapter; that is, try to rewrite the entire chpater in your own words. Keep it very short 25 words or less; stick to the main ideas. 10. Skim the chapter to make sure you didnt miss anything important in your notes. 11. When you start a new chapter, be sure to clearly identify the new chapter when you take your notes. 12. When you have finished the entire novel, try to: a. write a summary of the entire story in 25 words or less. b. explain how the main character(s) changed or grew from the beginning of the story to the end. c. identify the major problem(s) the main character(s) overcame during the story. d. identify who or what was keeping the main character(s) from achieving his/her/their goal(s). If you can identify the items listed in #12 without having to re-read your notes, you have a strong understanding of the story and the purpose of the novel.