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What are study notes?

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Quick Answer

Study notes are the notes a student takes while reading a book or listening to a lecture to review later in preparation for studying for an exam or writing an essay. Taking effective notes can make the preparation for exam or the writing of essay drafts more effective.

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There are several strategies to taking good study notes that will make them more useful later to prepare for an exam or write an essay. Notes should be neatly written, so they can be understood. To revise notes or add material, it is advisable to leave some room in the margins or at the bottom of the page. Because notes are written by the student, they foster a growing familiarity with the material.

When taking notes for a lecture, a student should be as alert as possible and concentrate on key points to write down. Technical terms and definitions should be written down as precisely as possible. If the lecturer recommends other reading material that is related to the lecture, the titles of these works should be jotted down, as they may be of use later. When taking notes while reading a book, many of these same principles apply, but special attention should be given to chapter headings, subheadings and boldface text.

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