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How to study efficiently: The Cornell Notes Method

September 7, 2016

 

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0:01

Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video I am going to teach you

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an amazing way to listen and take notes.

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This method I am going to teach you today is really, really going

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to help you, and I know this because I use this method myself, and I found it has really,

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really helped me when I was in university, during meetings, during all sorts of different

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situations. This method really works.

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So, first, before I teach you about the method, I want you to think about yourself and I want

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you to think about: When do you take notes? Okay? So, when do you listen and when do you

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take notes? So, some of you might think... Maybe you're in university, maybe you're in

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college, maybe you're in high school, and you have to listen to your teacher talk, and

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you have to take notes to help you remember what they are saying. Maybe you've graduated

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and you're working in a business, and you have meetings and... Or presentations, and

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you also need to take notes. So, this method will work for whether you're working or you're

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studying. Maybe you're taking the IELTS or the TOEFL, this can also help you on the TOEFL

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test in terms of improving your listening and taking notes.

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So, how do you take notes? Okay? I know some students, they watch their professor or their

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teacher talk, and they use their computer, and they just type everything their professor

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or teacher says. Is this something you do? Maybe you write your notes, and you write

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every single thing your professor says down on a piece of paper, or anything somebody

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says. Well, there are a couple of problems with these methods, and I'm going to explain

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to you some of the problems now. So, for people who like to take notes by computer, there

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are some advantages of this. You're able to type really quickly and you're able to get

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a lot of what you hear down on your computer, and it's easy to save. But the problem with

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this is it's a type of passive listening. So, a lot of the times you're not actually

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using your brain to interpret what you're listening to, and you're not actively listening.

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You're just copying word for word, you're not actually doing anything active with the

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material you're listening to. So, working with a computer-and I've seen this in my university-a

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lot of students also end up going on Facebook during the lesson or lecture. So, a lot of

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the times they get very distracted. When they should be listening, they're actually not. So,

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for me personally and I think for a lot of people, using a computer to take notes is

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not the best method. Again, for some people it might work, but for a lot of people it

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doesn't. A lot of the times it's actually better to take notes by hand, and the reason

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is when you take notes by hand, you have to think about what you're writing because writing

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takes a bit longer than typing. So you're organizing the material, therefore it's more

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of an active way to listen. Okay? And they've done psychology studies on this, and they

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do find that taking your notes by hand is often better than taking notes by a computer.

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So, today I am going to teach you a way to take notes by hand using what is called

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"The Cornell Method". This method was developed at Cornell University, and a lot of universities

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actually encourage students to use this method because it is very good. So, what is the Cornell

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Method? Okay, well, I'm glad you asked. So, I have here an example of how you would organize

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your paper. Imagine this is your paper that you take your notes on. What you can do is

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you can make a box just like this where you have a box where you write the title and the

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date of the lesson, you have a square or a rectangle here, you have a rectangle here,

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and you have a rectangle at the bottom. Okay? So, in total you have-one, two, three, four

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-four different rectangles.

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Now, what do you do? So, I already said you write the title here and the date here. In

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this column, you're going to write the main idea or the keyword a professor is using.

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Now, if this is confusing, that's okay because I will show you an example of a finished note.

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Okay? But for now, just to explain, in this column we're going to write any big, important

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words. Okay? So if you're learning about, you know, gravity, you might write the word:

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"gravity" here. Okay? You can also write questions here. "What is gravity?" Or you can write

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the main idea. So this is just almost like the big ideas that you're listening to.

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This is where we write the smaller ideas, the details. So if you're learning about history

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or, you know, something like that, you can write the dates here. Okay? Maybe you're learning

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about Shakespeare, so you might write, you know: "Shakespeare" here and when he was born,

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when he died. You can write details, details about what you're learning. Definitions. If

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you're learning a new word, you can write the meaning here. If you're taking a science

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class, you can write your formulas here. You can write examples here. Maybe if they're

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explaining, you know, something about science and something about, you know, planets, you

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can write an example here about Mercury. And you can also draw pictures here. A lot of

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students, they don't put pictures in their notes, but it actually is a great idea to

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help with understanding and to also help you remember what you're... What you're learning.

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So here you write the big ideas or the keywords, here is the detail, and finally at the bottom,

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after, you know, you've gone through the notes... So while you're listening to your professor

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or your teacher, you're writing here and here. And then once the class is over, you think

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about what you learned, and you look. You look here, you look here, and then you can

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write maybe four or five things that you learned today. Just by thinking about that at the

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end of each class will really, really help you to remember, you know, the material.

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So this is a very active way to take notes because you're organizing things, you're using

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a lot of brain power which is good, and you're going to remember a lot more than if you just

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type up everything the professor says on the computer or if you just write everything the

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professor says on the computer. The other great thing about this method is it's so easy

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when you're studying for a test or an exam. You can find ideas very quickly. So, if you

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want to go back to about gravity, you can look for:

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"Okay, where is gravity? Oh, here's gravity."

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And then you can read up on some of the details about gravity. So it's very,

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very good for organizing your notes, which will help you in terms of your test. So now

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I'm going to show you an actual example of the Cornell Method with actual notes in them.

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Okay, so imagine I'm actually listening to a teacher talk about the history of English,

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and I've just written my notes. Okay? So now I'm going to talk about what I wrote. So here

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is the title. The lesson I listened to is called "English 101". Whenever you see "101"

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that usually means it's an introduction to something. I've written the date here. This

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isn't the real date. It's not 2060, but I have no idea when you're going to watch this,

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so I've decided to just make up a date. So, here, again, are the key ideas or main words.

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So... Or questions. I have here: "What is English?", "Dialects", and "American vs. British".

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So, the beauty about this is when I'm studying for my test, I can quickly find the material.

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If I need to find out: What's the difference between America vs. British, I can just scan

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and go right here. Okay?

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Here I have all the details. So, notice this has a lot more words than this. This is just

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one or two words, whereas this is a lot more information. So, here under the question:

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"What is English?" I wrote: It's official... It's the official language in 60 countries.

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It's the most widely learned second language, and it's an Indo-European language. Okay?

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So you'll notice I didn't write full sentences here. There's no point. You're trying to write

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as quickly as you can. So instead of, you know, writing:

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"It's the official language of 60 countries", I just put: "60 countries = official",

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and I could write "lang" here.

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This is short for "language". If you can and you keep hearing the same words again and

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again in your lecture, you don't have to write them out fully. You can find a short form

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to write. Any time I see this, I know: "Okay, language." Just like down here: "diff", for

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me that's "difference". So I don't have to waste time writing it all out. Okay, so this

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is: "What is English?"

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And then I have dialects: Jamaican, Indian, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, etc. A

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dialect is a type of English. There are many different types of English. And maybe the

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professor talks too quickly and you have no idea: "What is a dialect? I don't understand."

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That's... That's good. What you can do with that is down here you can also write questions

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you have about the material. You know: "I don't know what a dialect is. Look up later."

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Or something like this. So this can also help you see what you need to look into or what

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you can ask your teacher or professor about. Okay.

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And then over here I have: "American vs. British". So, the teacher was talking about American

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vs. British English. So I wrote: "er" pronunciation, it's different between American and British

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English. The vocabulary can be different. And again, I would write a bunch of examples

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here. You know, maybe I might write: "lift vs. elevator is different", or you know, real

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examples. This is just an example. It's not totally filled out. You would have a lot more

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detail when you listen to a lecture or a lesson.

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So if you're actually interested in American vs. British English

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and the differences, we do have a video on that at www.engvid.com.

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And what I actually highly recommend is for you to try to listen to that video,

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and you know, practice this method. Write the title of the video, the date, write some of the

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key points the teacher is going to talk about, and some of the details. You can do that with

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any videos on our website and, you know, for practice and it will actually help you learn

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the material better and remember the material more. And then you can use this again

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in high school, in university, in college, in business meetings, wherever you need to take notes.

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The last thing I wanted to say is: "Today I learned". Once you have listened to the

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lecture, think about the material and think about: "What did I learn today?" So maybe

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today I learned that there are many types of English. There's Jamaican, Indian, Australian,

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there's so many different types. Maybe today I learned there's a difference between American

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English and British English in terms of "er" pronunciation. I recommend writing, you know,

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multiple things here. You usually learn at least four or five things in a lesson, probably

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more. But what you can do is think about: What are the four most important things I

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learned today? And write those four of the most important things down. This will really,

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really help you to remember the material.

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So, I'd like you to come visit our website at www.engvid.com.

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There, we have a lot more resources on all sorts of different topics

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where you can practice using this method while you watch our videos.

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You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel where you'll find a lot of other resources,

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a lot of great resources on all sorts of different topics about English.

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So until next time, thank you for watching and take care.

 

 

 

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