Example - Cornell Note-Taking Format

Subject: Notetaking_________________ Date: 11/20/98_____

Main Ideas






Semantic map or web

Image of the Cornell Map

  • Can be used to provide an outline of the course, chapter, or lecture.
  • Organized by main ideas and details.
  • Can be as detailed as necessary.
  • Sequential-- take notes as they are given by instructor or text in an orderly fashion.
  • After class, write a summary of what you learned to clarify and reinforce learning and to assist retention.
  • Can be used as study tool:
    1. Define terms or explain concepts listed on the left side.
    2. Identify the concept or term based on its definition on the right side.

  • Can be used to provide a "big picture" of the course, chapter, or lecture.
  • Organized by main ideas and sub-topics.
  • Limited in how much detail you can represent.
  • Simultaneous - you can use this method for instructors who jump around from topic to topic.
  • After class, you will probably need to "translate" notes into a Cornell format.
  • Can be used as a study tool -- to get a quick overview and to determine whether you need more information or need to concentrate your study on specific topics.

There are a couple of ways that you can take notes. The Cornell method is best when the information is given in a sequential, orderly fashion and allows for more detail. The semantic web/map method works best for instructors who skip around from topic to topic, and provides a "big picture" when you're previewing materials or getting ready to study for a test.

Download Example - Cornell Note-Taking Format as a PDF file.