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How to take notes

The Cornell layout

Cornell notes divide your page and your note-taking into four distinct sections: title, cues, notes, and summary.

Let’s review what each section should contain:

  • Title: the top of the page should contain the course and/or topic title, plus the date of your notes
  • Cues: the left-hand margin column is for keywords, phrases, subtopics and questions. These “cues” help you to organize your notes and pinpoint where relevant notes and answers can be found
  • Notes: the large right-hand column is where your notes go. Keep them lined up with your cues, and start a new line for each new note or point
  • Summary: this section forms a footer at the bottom of the page and should contain a brief summary of the main concepts covered on each page.

The summary section is the most important part of the Cornell method – that’s where the information really finds its way into your memory.

Learn how to take good notes


Notetaking Templates  Graphic orgnisers are effective tools for assisting readers to understand and organise ideas. 


Click on the link above to open or view on  the PowerPoint below.


Tullow Centre Library, Brigidine College. 2022