Cornell Notes

Cornell Notes

About Cornell Notes

The Cornell note-taking system is a note-taking system devised in the 1950s by Walter Pauk, an education professor at Cornell University. Pauk advocated its use in his best-selling book How to Study in College. The Cornell method provides a systematic format for condensing and organizing notes. The student divides the paper into two columns: the note-taking column (usually on the right) is twice the size of the questions/key word column (on the left). The student should leave five to seven lines, or about two inches, at the bottom of the page. Notes from a lecture or teaching are written in the note-taking column; notes usually consist of the main ideas of the text or lecture, and long ideas are paraphrased. Within 24 hours of taking the notes, the student must revise and write questions and then write a brief summary in the bottom five to seven lines of the page. This helps to increase understanding of the topic. When studying for either a test or quiz, the student has a concise but detailed and relevant record of previous classes.