Taking Notes During Discussions
Taking notes during discussions can be harder than taking notes during lectures because discussions tend to follow their own logic rather than a pre-determined path set by a speaker. Here are some pointers toward the most effective ways to compensate for the differences:
- Be sure to distinguish in your notes among what your professor says, what information comes from the book, what a classmate has said, and your own ideas that you wrote down.
- Evaluate the comments during the discussion.
- Write down the page numbers from the text that support people's comments.
- Write down all the information that the professor notes on the board.
- Pay particular attention when the prof repeats or rephrases another student's comment.
- Don't get so caught up in the emotions of a lively (or controversial) discussion that you ignore people who disagree with you or that you forget to take notes.
- Volunteer to share your thoughts--don't sit passively.
- Answer all of the professor's questions in your head.