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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Dear Physics Forum friends,

I am a rising college junior in US with a major in mathematics. I recently noticed a problem in my note-taking skill in the mathematics, both from the textbooks and lectures. When I was a microbiology major, I wrote extensive amount of notes from my books and lectures since I had to memorize all of them. I followed this trend and took extensive notes from my math books and professors' lectures. The problem with my note-taking skill is that I basically copy down almost everything from my books. For example, I am currently studying Apostol's Mathematical Analysis; what I am doing is that I copy down the theorems, proofs (including my footnotes), authors's remarks & motivation, and examples. I tried to copy them on my own words, but the result is that I basically copy down verbatim with little change in the grammars. I started to realized that I should not take such exhaustive notes since the textbooks contain exact materials from my notebooks, but I cannot overcome the feeling that I need to make my own version of books, by taking notes from them, and the fear of memory loss. Also I tried to take as much notes as possible from the professors's lectures. What I realized is that I copy down the exact words from my professors, and I often lost the concentration to focus on lectures and absorb the materials. I also lost my concentration whenever I take the notes from my books since I need to divert my attention from books to notebooks.

I am currently thinking about various alternative strategies, which are followings:

1) Taking notes within the textbook using the blank space of books and the Post-It: Take notes about interesting remarks, confusion about the exposition and examples, and my own interesting ideas or approach to the proofs and examples.

2) Taking notes on a separate notebook but only copying the information from 1).

3) Do not take any notes and try to absorb the materials from the books: I noticed that I usually learn the best by reading. Use the lecture to supplement the textbook reading and to gain different perspective.

Could you help me out by commenting about my strategies and/or share your note-taking skills? I am quite embarrassed about my note-taking problem.

I am a rising college junior in US with a major in mathematics. I recently noticed a problem in my note-taking skill in the mathematics, both from the textbooks and lectures. When I was a microbiology major, I wrote extensive amount of notes from my books and lectures since I had to memorize all of them. I followed this trend and took extensive notes from my math books and professors' lectures. The problem with my note-taking skill is that I basically copy down almost everything from my books. For example, I am currently studying Apostol's Mathematical Analysis; what I am doing is that I copy down the theorems, proofs (including my footnotes), authors's remarks & motivation, and examples. I tried to copy them on my own words, but the result is that I basically copy down verbatim with little change in the grammars. I started to realized that I should not take such exhaustive notes since the textbooks contain exact materials from my notebooks, but I cannot overcome the feeling that I need to make my own version of books, by taking notes from them, and the fear of memory loss. Also I tried to take as much notes as possible from the professors's lectures. What I realized is that I copy down the exact words from my professors, and I often lost the concentration to focus on lectures and absorb the materials. I also lost my concentration whenever I take the notes from my books since I need to divert my attention from books to notebooks.

I am currently thinking about various alternative strategies, which are followings:

1) Taking notes within the textbook using the blank space of books and the Post-It: Take notes about interesting remarks, confusion about the exposition and examples, and my own interesting ideas or approach to the proofs and examples.

2) Taking notes on a separate notebook but only copying the information from 1).

3) Do not take any notes and try to absorb the materials from the books: I noticed that I usually learn the best by reading. Use the lecture to supplement the textbook reading and to gain different perspective.

Could you help me out by commenting about my strategies and/or share your note-taking skills? I am quite embarrassed about my note-taking problem.