The Cornell Note-taking System

Cornell Note-Taking1

1. Record: During the lecture, use the note-taking column to record the
lecture using telegraphic sentences.
2. Questions: As soon after class as possible, formulate questions based on
the notes in the right-hand column. Writing questions helps to clarify
meanings, reveal relationships, establish continuity, and strengthen
memory. Also, the writing of questions sets up a perfect stage for exam-studying
3. Recite: Cover the note-taking column with a sheet of paper. Then, looking
at the questions or cue-words in the question and cue column only, say
aloud, in your own words, the answers to the questions, facts, or ideas
indicated by the cue-words.
4. Reflect: Reflect on the material by asking yourself questions, for example:
“What’s the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on?
How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what I already know?
What’s beyond them?
5. Review: Spend at least ten minutes every week reviewing all your previous
notes. If you do, you’ll retain a great deal for current use, as well as, for the

Cornell Note-Taking2

Adapted from How to Study in College 7/e by Walter Pauk, 2001 Houghton Mifflin Company

pdf of the Cornell Note-taking System