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Taking Notes

Synthesizing Information from a Source

What are some ways to be a good reader of information?

List of Possible Strategies:

Skimming and scanning Looking for keywords Noticing bold, italic, and underlined words Being aware of headlines Using the table of contents, index, glossary, and title page Paying attention to picture captions Knowing that, sometimes, reading every word is necessary Make a mind map or table or line diagram

Note-taking Strategies Abbreviations Bullets Caveman language Lists One word for several Use your own words
Taken from: School Library Media Activities Monthly Vol. 12, No. 1, Sept. 2006

Abbreviations are shortened forms of a word or phrase Use them when you take notes Examples:
Dr. = doctor Mrs. = missus Mr. = mister U.S.A. = United States of America CN = China List of Abbreviations

Example of a Bulleted List: Foods Romans Ate Pizza Spaghetti Olives Tomatoes Wine

Caveman Language

We all make lists from time to time: Grocery lists List of things to bring on vacation To Do Lists When doing research you can also make lists: List of countries the Romans conquered List of weapons used by the Romans

One Word for Several

How to:
Reread the original passage until you understand it. Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase. Check your version with the original to make sure that it accurately expresses all the essential information, but in a new form. Record the source (including the page) in your notes so that you can credit it easily

Taken from:

Use Your Own Words

Similar to Paraphrasing Read the information through Without looking at the original material, write your version Change words that are difficult to words you understand Note: You still need to cite the information

Try it Yourself!
Fact Fragment Frenzy

Try to Paraphrase this:

Roman men and women originally seem to have worn a large piece of wool, wrapped around themselves. After they met people from Greece and Egypt, around 200 BC, they began to wear linen tunics (like T-shirts) under their wool robes, which was more comfortable. On their feet, both men and women wore leather sandals, or leather boots in cold weather. In their hair, women wore wooden hairsticks or wooden combs, which they could also use to comb their hair.

"Roman Clothing - History for Kids!" Kidipede - History and Science for Kids - Homework Help for Middle School. 13 Mar. 2009 <>.

More ideas for note-taking

Mind Map


System Map

Line Diagram

Many students find that highlighting helps them to concentrate and helps them to understand the text. Just deciding what to highlight or underline encourages you to think critically, make judgments and formulate your own response to the text.

1. Read quickly through the text to get an overview of what its about. 2. Read it more closely, pausing at the end of each paragraph to identify the main points. You may highlight:
1. Sentence or word that sums up an important idea 2. Quotations 3. Statistics 4. Specialized terms 5. Important or useful data 6. Examples or links to other ideas.

3. You could use different colored pens to mark different kinds of information, but be careful not to highlight so much that it becomes distracting.

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