Though all of the methods below do have empirical support, Guided Notes have increasingly been shown to be a superior note-taking technique (Narjaikaew, Emarat, & Cowie, 2009). Researchers recommend that teachers leave blanks where children are required to fill in 2-3 words and recommend that the length of the blanks vary to maintain student attention (Konrad, Joseph, & Ioti, 2011). Further, these researchers suggested that teachers use blanks of single words only for students with disabilities.
Overall, non-linear note-taking methods (denoted with an asterisk below) are considered to be the most effective (Kiewra, DuBois, Christia, McShane, Meyerhoffer, & Roskelley, 1991), though most students use linear methods naturally. It is important that students be taught note-taking skills.
For more information head to our Note Taking Software pages.
Research Rating: Due to the experimental nature of the information cited in this description this information is to be trusted as valid and reliable
Special Consideration: Workflow
Exact prices change frequently, which is why only approximate ranges are listed.
$ - Under $5
$$ - Between $6 and $50
$$$ - Between $51 and $250
$$$$ - Over $250
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Kiewra, K. A., DuBois, N. F., Christian, D., McShane, A., Meyerhoffer, M., & Roskelley, D. (1991). Note-taking functions and techniques. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 240-245.
Konrad, M., Joseph, L. M., & Itoi, M. (2011). Using guided notes to enhance instruction for all students. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46, 131-140.
Makany, T., Kemp, J., & Dror, I. E. (2009). Optimising the use of note-taking as an external cognitive aid for increasing learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(4), 619-635.
Narjaikaew, P., Emarat, N., & Cowie, B. (2009). The effect of guided note taking during lectures on Thai university students' understanding of electromagnetism.Research in Science & Technological Education, 27, 75-94.
O’Donnell, A. M., Dansereau, D. F. & Hall, R. F. (2002). Knowledge maps as scaffolds for cognitive processing. Educational Psychology Review, 14, 71–86.
Palmatier, R. A. (1971). Comparison of four note-taking procedures. Journal of Reading, 14, 235-258.
Pauk, W. (2001). How to study in college. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Smith, P. L., & Tompkins, G. E. (1988). Structured notetaking: A new strategy for content area readers. Journal of Reading, 32(1), 46-53.
Written by Bronwyn Lamond, Last Revision October 2016