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Making Notes from Textbooks


Making Notes from Textbooks

In the final part of the note-taking series, we bring to you useful ways of creating notes from your textbooks.

By Noorulain Sayed 14th Oct, 2016 12:04 pm

In the final part of the note-taking series, we bring to you useful ways of creating notes from your textbooks.

The best way to make notes on your own is read your textbooks, and there is no substitute to reading. The books have all the information packed in them. The key is to skim through the information and create something fun yet meaningful which you can refer to instead going through the textbooks every time.

Here are a few effective ways to create notes from your textbooks:

But before you start… Prepare a to-do list. 


There is a systematic way of going about your note making process. Sharpen your pencils, grab your highlighter pens and keep a good quality notebook ready.

The advantage of having this list is you will be able to constantly check your progress and since you will have finished the basics you won’t waste time on petty things.

The first step: Read

Unless you pick up your textbook and read you will not be able to make notes. So, make yourself comfortable in a nice quite place at home or in your school library and start reading the book chapter wise.

This may seem a bit time consuming but this will also help you decide what is it that you wish to include in your notes.


If you do not have time to do a detailed reading, you can preview each chapter either while making notes or before each lecture. The following are the benefits of previewing:

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Highlight important parts:

This is a tricky one as it is easy to get carried away and highlight the whole chapter! But pause… Try to recall the important parts you had come across while reading. In fact, you can assign specific colours to different types of information. You can also combine reading and highlighting as you progress.

The advantage of highlighting is that key elements from a chapter will stand out from the rest of the information whenever you see your notes.

Underline relevant words:

Underlining specific words while reading works for those who find the highlighter distracting and prefer to remember keywords instead of paragraphs.

Does a name, date or word ring a bell while reading? Does a specific word create a doubt in your mind? Immediately underline it. This simple method is highly effective for clearing doubts.

The final step: Writing

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The final step is to start writing whatever you have marked as important in your textbooks. You can make use of sticky notes to highlight the most relevant points in your written copy. In a separate column, jot down questions you would like to ask you teacher to get your doubts cleared about a topic or concept.

Using sticky notes

Sticky notes can used as cheat sheets and can be referred to while revising your notes.

Write  in a neat handwriting as you should be able to understand what you have written.

Neatly written notes are more appealing to the eye and capture our attention.

The SQ3R method:

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You may have now understood that all the above tips for making notes from textbooks are nothing but the SQ3R method.

In our previous feature we had briefly brushed upon SQ3R. This method of note making is much more elaborate than the other methods as it involves five steps. They are mentioned in the title itself: Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.

You will begin by going through some chapters of a particular book. Then you quickly jot down questions which crop up in your mind while skimming through the text. For example: What is this chapter all about?

Now begin reading the text in detail to note down the answers to the questions you had.

Then in your own words recite orally what you have understood.

Lastly, review the material you have gathered and see if you have missed out on any key elements regarding the topic/chapter.

We hope our series on Note Taking has been useful to you. Don’t forget to use these tips to create the best notes!

Also read:

Note Taking: The Dos and Dont’s

Coolest ways of making notes!

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