The Cornell Note Taking System

Why do you take notes? What do you hope to get from your notes? What are Cornell Notes and how do you use the Cornell note-taking system?

There are many ways to take notes. It’s helpful to try out different methods and determine which work best for you in different situations. Whether you are learning online or in person, the physical act of writing can help you remember better than just listening or reading. Research shows that taking notes by hand is more effective than typing on a laptop. This page and our Canvas module will teach you about different note-taking systems and styles and help you determine what will work best for your situation.

In our Cornell Note Taking System module you will:

  • Examine your current note taking system
  • Explore different note taking strategies (including the Cornell Notes system)
  • Assess which strategies work best for you in different situations

The best way to explore your current note-taking strategies and learn about the Cornell note taking system is to go through our Canvas note taking module. The module will interactively guide you through how to use Cornell Notes – click on the link here or the button below. This module is publicly available.

Click here to Explore Note-taking and Cornell Notes




Just want to see a bit more about Cornell Notes? You can view the videos below.

Watch: What are Cornell Notes?

Watch: Learn how students use the Cornell Note Taking System

The Cornell Note-Taking System was originally developed by Cornell education professor, Walter Pauk. Prof. Pauk outlined this effective note-taking method in his book, How to Study in College (1).

  1.  Pauk, Walter; Owens, Ross J. Q. (2010). How to Study in College (10 ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth. ISBN 978-1-4390-8446-5. Chapter 10: “The Cornell System: Take Effective Notes”, pp. 235-277