Why Take Notes?

When working on a written assignment at university, the amount of information you need to read, understand and remember in order to develop a successful paper can feel overwhelming. It’s difficult if not impossible to keep everything in mind at once.

Effective note-taking can help you to make sense of the material you’re

reading, to focus on key themes and concepts, and to further develop the

ideas and arguments that will form the basis of your paper.


There is no one right way to take notes, as they are for your own personal use. It’s appropriate to take different types of notes for different purposes and at different stages of the writing process.


Your notes can serve as a way of:


    1. gathering key information and ideas from your readings

    2. organizing, summarizing and synthesizing ideas

    3. visually outlining, mapping and connecting readings and ideas to your topic and main arguments