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Why do so many people take so many notes?

  • Thread starter DeadWolfe
  • Start date
Actually i do take notes, and rather obsessively, i'm known for almost copying the testbook in its entirety. However i never read my notes. Writing everything down just helps me commit it to memory,i don't actually study from them.
 
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mathwonk said:
It seems obvious but some of you guys seem to not have noticed the following fact:

you are in the wrong class!

why would anyone pay tuition for a class in which they already know all the material?
I get almost nothing out of lectures. What I do get on occasion is not justified by the amount of time spent. This is not the fault of my instructors, it's just the way I learn and deal with new material. I do, however, need the credit and grade if I am to graduate. I would much prefer a more independent approach to education.

"Here's the book, the test is in 4 months and will cover these chapters. Your free to meet with me or your classmates in this room, on these days, and at these hours to discuss any problems your having with the material."

My econ teacher has a great quote he likes to use, "I can only facilitate the learning process, you have to do the work."
 
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Whew. I almost thought i had something wrong with me. Glad to know there are some people that don't take notes and study the book instead. However, my professors for mechanics and E&m are both very generous and post their class notes online for students to download, i don't know how common this practice is.

I think people take notes in class is because they can absorb the material very quickly. That is the case for one of my classmates, he is pretty smart as he hasn't gotten an A- in any classes so far :bugeye: , and all he does is take notes and studies off of them, this is an advantage if the professor teaches things that aren't in the text.

Another reason might be because the person is really lost so they just jot down whatever to make it look like they're doing something, i sometimes do this :rolleyes: The notes i take in class, i never end up reading them because i don't trust it, so i don't bother taking notes anymore unless i really have to.
 
DeadWolfe, HallsofIvy makes a good point. I'm a first year Phys major, and what I do to combat looking back at endless white paper is:
1. Use yellow paper - 16-20 pound/recycled
2. Use black, red and blue pens for highling and circling.
3. Do BPN- Bullet Point Notes. Every time you hear a key point-something you should remember-write it down. 3-5 words max, unless it's a definition or an equation obviously.
4. Do the same for reading BPR, and also when you do homework, and get quizzes back, do BPC Bullet Point Concept (key misunderstandings/mistakes) etc.

People call me an artist, not a math/phys student- but come exam time, I have warm looking, succint, thin set of notes.
 
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i label all my notes on whats covered in them, so if i ever need to look back on forgotten material, i jus flip to the chapter. i normally only write down formulas and how they work/can be applied. right now, im teaching my self calc 1 from a text book that i got from school. im up to maximum and minumum's and havent had any trouble yet. i normally only use my notes when i need to look up a derivative rule. i find notes to be more of a precaution than a thing that i normally use. just in case i forget this theorem or how to do this type of problem.
 
I take the notes. Cause hey, you never know if you might your notebook.
 

Dr Transport

Science Advisor
Gold Member
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I take notes in a class, or for that matter when I read a book to help organize my thoughts IN MY HEAD. Years after I took a course and was forced to revisit a subject long forgotten, right now I am having to remeber all of my Fourier Optics and electronics to help design and build a device which I hope to patent at some time, my notes are helping to bring it back into my head quickly and without too much aggravation. The original poster appears to be either still in high school or in the first couple of years of university. The lack of careful note taking may just jump up and bite him/her because they will not have these carefully prepared documents in their arsenal of tricks etc.....
 
It seems obvious the answer... take notes in classes you need to take notes in... that may not be the same class for everyperson.
 
I write down lots of stuff, even when reading a textbook. I hardly refer to those notes again, but a hand moving makes a world of difference to me. Notes to me, are for helping me to absorb whatever I am learning at the moment.
 

honestrosewater

Gold Member
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Yes, taking notes helps to cycle the information around, even if you never refer to them. I'm constantly writing things down, especially when actively thinking about something. The basic idea is that the more ways you experience something, the fuller your understanding of it can become. (That's a very basic explanation.) I've read some people learn better visually, as opposed to verbally, so actually seeing the words or diagrams can help. There's also a disorder, I think it's called graphophilia, where people feel a compulsion to write. You can find plenty of information about compulsions, but I haven't been able to find anything online about writing compulsions; My only source is a special I saw on TV.
Happy thoughts
Rachel
 
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Dr Transport said:
I take notes in a class, or for that matter when I read a book to help organize my thoughts IN MY HEAD. Years after I took a course and was forced to revisit a subject long forgotten, right now I am having to remeber all of my Fourier Optics and electronics to help design and build a device which I hope to patent at some time, my notes are helping to bring it back into my head quickly and without too much aggravation. The original poster appears to be either still in high school or in the first couple of years of university. The lack of careful note taking may just jump up and bite him/her because they will not have these carefully prepared documents in their arsenal of tricks etc.....
This is the reason i'm learning to take better notes, not in class notes, but book notes, class notes, and anyting else for that matter because this is the best for long term. I can survive in most classes wihtout taking notes at all but when classes or projects start getting complicated, i think this is the way to go to maximize your time. Taking good notes also helps you figure the algorithm for most problems in classes anyways :tongue2:
 
F

futb0l

You do whatever suits you, for me - I find then when I write down something, I can remember things better... Even when I am reading a physics book, sometimes I take a notebook and copy what it says in the book, because somehow - I can remember it.
 

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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When I was an undergrad, I took copious notes. Whenever someone had a question about something they couldn't remember from lecture, they'd come to me. However, I didn't just write everything the prof said without listening, like many students do, but was organizing the notes into outlines as I was writing it, so it was also quick to skim for content when I needed something later. I've found that there are sometimes things that seem completely obvious, but when you go back later, realize it isn't quite as obvious as you first thought. This is where plentiful notes come in handy.

You'd also be amazed at how much of what you don't continue to use, you eventually forget. For me, it's that stuff that has become most useful to have notes on. I've kept my notes from a few classes, and they are an easier reference than the textbooks. For example, we covered far more statistics in my statistics class than I have ever needed to use since then, but when I'm designing a new experiment and need to consider a design I don't frequently use, it helps to go back to those notes and remind myself of just what comparisons are allowable and what the limitations and assumptions need to be.

As I gained more familiarity with subjects, I could do a lot more shorthand in my notes, and didn't need to write down as much.

I'm also one of those people who remembers things better if I've written it. There are just different learning styles for different people. Some learn by reading, some by listening, some by doing, some by writing. I learn best by doing, writing and talking about it later (actually, that has always been the way I learn best, to discuss answers with other people...conversation on a topic really sticks with me). It makes it more active learning rather than passive for me.

However, some people just take tons of notes because they aren't really listening and are hoping they'll figure it out later. They're the ones that are fun to play with as a lecturer. You can tell strange stories and jokes and while most of the class is laughing (or groaning), there are those who are busy scribbling down your jokes. :rofl:
 
Moonbear said:
They're the ones that are fun to play with as a lecturer. You can tell strange stories and jokes and while most of the class is laughing (or groaning), there are those who are busy scribbling down your jokes. :rofl:
I'm going to remember that for future use.
 

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