Making the Most of Cornell Notes: An Example

Making the Most of Cornell Notes: An Example

Taking notes is an essential part of learning, and the Cornell Note-taking system is a popular and effective way of doing so. Developed by Walter Pauk, professor emeritus of Education at Cornell University, the Cornell Note-taking system is a simple, organized way to help students retain information more effectively. This article will provide an example of the Cornell Note-taking system, as well as tips for making the most of its benefits.

What Are Cornell Notes?

Cornell Notes are a specific type of note-taking system that was developed in the 1950s. The basic structure consists of two columns, providing space for both notes and a summary of the main ideas. The left-hand column is the notes column, where students can write down the main points of a lecture or reading. The right-hand column is for summarizing the main ideas and reflecting on them. The goal of the Cornell Note-taking system is to help students to focus on the key points of a lesson and ensure that they can recall the material later on.

How to Take Cornell Notes

Taking Cornell Notes is a simple and straightforward process. The first step is to draw up the two columns, labeled “Notes” and “Summary.” The Notes column should be two-thirds of the page, while the Summary column should be one-third. Then, as the lecture or reading progresses, record the main points in the Notes column. At the end of the lesson, take a few minutes to summarize the main ideas in the Summary column.

Benefits of the Cornell Note-Taking Method

The Cornell Note-taking system offers several benefits for students. It helps to focus their attention on the main ideas of a lesson, encouraging them to pay attention to the key points and make more meaningful notes. It also helps to condense the material, as summarizing the main ideas forces students to think about the material and identify the most important aspects of the lesson. Finally, the Cornell Note-taking system helps to ensure that students can recall the material later on, as the notes and summaries provide a clear and organized way to review the material.

Tips for Making the Most of Cornell Notes

Making the most of Cornell Notes requires a few simple tips and tricks. First, write as much as possible in the Notes column without worrying too much about grammar or punctuation. The goal is to capture the main ideas, not to craft a perfect essay. Second, when summarizing the main points in the Summary column, try to use your own words and avoid repeating phrases or ideas from the lecture. Finally, try to review the notes and summaries regularly, as this will help to ensure that the material is retained.

An Example of Cornell Notes

This is an example of a Cornell Notes page for a lecture on the Industrial Revolution. The Notes column contains the main points of the lecture, and the Summary column captures the main ideas in fewer words.


-The Industrial Revolution began in the late 1700s

-It was a period of rapid technological and social change

-It was driven by new inventions, such as the steam engine and the cotton gin

-It led to the growth of large-scale industry

-It had a major impact on the economy, politics, and society


The Industrial Revolution was a period of rapid change, driven by new inventions and resulting in the growth of large-scale industry. It had a lasting impact on the economy, politics, and society.

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