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Homework writing tips-take notes on facts and ideas


While a lot of time is spent in high school and college listening to lectures and taking lessons, another great chunk of time is taken up by doing homework. Now there are basically two types of students who tackle homework; those who know how to take notes and benefit from them later and those who don't. Obviously you want to be a student who benefits from note-taking and makes every post a winner with their homework.

You see whether you are in a lecture, reading a book or doing some research online, you will come across material which may be relevant to your topic. The key word here is may. The student who has the ability to do three basic things when it comes to resource material, is the student who will do really well in their writing assignments.

Here are the three basic things:

  • evaluate
  • summarize
  • notate

The first major skill you need to acquire is the ability to evaluate the material you are presented with in a lesson or reading about in a book or on an online website. The question you must ask is as follows. Is the material relevant to the topic you are researching? When you can evaluate successfully, when you can separate the relevant material from the irrelevant material, you're well on the way to becoming good at taking notes.

Of course if it is a lecture in class then almost everything your teacher is discussing will be relevant. But then comes the technique of being able to take notes. If you have shorthand skills, so much the better. If not, you need to learn how to write shortened versions of a number of words. You can even omit conjunctions and prepositions.

Now if you are reading a resource text and have the ability to evaluate which material is relevant, you then need to be able to summarize it, to make a copy of the relevant words which will be used either as a direct quote or as re-written material in your essay.

Finally there is the notation and recording of this material. This needs to be in a controlled, easy to find and easy to access situation. Note taking needs to be exact, needs to be relevant and needs to be clear but being able to store and locate it and then find your homework is equally important.