What to Notice While Note Taking

Good note taking skills can benefit a students’ high school years tremendously.

Many students around AHS use colorful pens to take notes. Some classes require hand written notes, while others dont.

Molly McFadden

Many students around AHS use colorful pens to take notes. Some classes require hand written notes, while others don’t.

Taliya James, Editor

Good note taking skills can benefit a students’ high school years tremendously. Even with the world’s increase in technology, the best way to take notes is by hand. A study by Princeton University and University of California showed that students who took notes via laptop had lower average test scores than students who took notes by hand. “In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning,” said Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. 

AHS history teacher Trace Petersen believes that students should know how to take notes both online and on paper. He said, “If a person is gonna learn anything new they need to be able to take notes or find out the important information and organize it to increase their chances of learning.” Junior Madison Clark takes her notes via her school issued computer, but she believes that taking notes on paper would be more beneficial. She spends five to ten minutes every class taking notes depending on the class that she is taking notes for.

If a person is gonna learn anything new they need to be able to take notes or find out the important information and organize it to increase their chances of learning.”

— Trace Petersen

Freshman Alexis Christensen uses both computer and paper to take notes. She believes that it is easier to “fluctuate between the two.” She thinks that both note taking strategies have their advantages and disadvantages. Christensen said that paper note taking is probably more useful for learning, but it requires more supplies. “Online note taking is easier in our day and age. Plus it is easier to find more evidence and information,” Christensen said. 

Some students do not know how to take good notes using pen and paper due to increasing technology. There are many techniques that students can use to better their note taking skills. They can add visual boosts, instructor comments into their notes, use color, and ask the teacher what type of notes would be most beneficial in their classroom setting. A good tip for students is that not every word matters. Taking time to write down every single word can lead to students getting annoyed or feeling that taking notes via paper takes too much time. It is important to pay attention and absorb information, while writing down only key details.