I have a reasonably good memory. At least, I think I do until I want to remember something specific or need to remember something under pressure, and then my crystal clear recall fades into a blurry sorta-half-right-kinda remembrance that does no good for anyone else and makes me look like I’ve had too much sugar for one day.
The only way for me to survive college and get good grades was to develop a keen system of note taking. No matter how carefully you listen in class or review a text, note taking will help you get the most of your lessons and achieve good grades in your college degree program.
When note taking for a degree course, write the class, date, and topic of the lecture on the top of the page. If the lecture corresponds with a chapter in the book, then write that in the top corner also. When its time to study and you want to look up information the top of your pages will become a handy index to locate the quote or fact you are looking to find.
After the header, write down anything your professor writes down, particularly if it’s a date, chart or statistics. Professors don’t usually write something out unless they want you to know it. Write down any specific phrase or idea that is a main point of the lecture. Finally, if the professor mentions a page or paragraph in the textbook make a note of it as well to review of any exams that may contain it.
The best rule of note taking for a college degree class is: if it’s important to the professor, it’s important to you.
Note taking from a text is a different kind of system. In the future, these notes will help you in your essay writing. But also, remember that you have the opportunity to ask professionals to write my essay. Many people simply highlight their book or write notes in the margins. The problem with that is when you need quick access to the information; you end up thumbing through the book to find it.
A better way is to get a small notebook that goes with your textbook. When you highlight, write down the page number and topic or item you pointed out. That will help you locate the information in a timely manner.
We know that writing reinforces memory, and while you’re pursuing your college degree a good memory and a great set of notes can be your best friends.
“Why do I have to study this stuff?” I would whine all the way through high school grammar. “I am never going to use it. When am I ever going to be referencing essays?” My teacher would just laugh and assign us five more questions. I never knew why she found that so funny until I started working on my college degree. Then it hit me.
Not only did she know I was going to need this “stuff”, she also knew I was going to use it almost every day. Referencing, the art of showing where a quote or source material actually comes from is a part of almost every paper you will write pursuing your degree. Because so much of the research and content are from online or printed essays, referencing them is an important thing to know.
What you have to remember about referencing essays is that an essay is a smaller work of non-fiction usually published as part of a whole work. When you are referencing essays you need to know the title and author of the essay, but also the title and author of the larger work that it comes from. For example, if I am quoting from an essay entitled, “Why Green Tomatoes Are Better for Frying”, I would cite the author of the essay, Joyce Lane, and then site the book, Southern Cooking for Beginnersedited by Carole Klingman.
In the MLA (Modern Language Association) style of referencing which is used for degree essays involving humanities and liberal arts, essays are always given quotations and the book or resource is given italics or handled the way the larger resource should be handled. Working at the college level, you are actually citing a source within a source and the grammar rules for both types of sources must be applied.
Grammar can seem like a lot of rules all at the same time, however, once you realize how important they will be to your daily life as you are earning your college degree you’ll discover the time you spend on the “stuff” will save you from whining far into your future.