Cornell Notes Guide

The Cornell note-taking method involves making notes, extracting cues from these notes, followed by creating a summary.


1) Make notes in the moment

During the lecture, class or your revision session make in-the-moment notes, recording as many key points as possible in the "notes" section in the column on the right. This section should include:

  • Keywords and ideas
  • Important concepts
  • Examples, case studies
  • Formulas

Top tips for this section:

  • Use bullet points to help make your notes more conciseĀ 
  • Re-phrase to write the notes in your own words, this will help your process the information as you're writing.
  • Use abbreviationsĀ 
  • Use diagrams where possible - visual notes are more likely to be rememberedĀ 

2) Extract cues

After you've finished making your notes, pull out key cues from the test and write them in the column on the left. Draw an arrow connecting a cue to the chunk of notes that it's referring to.

Cues can include:

  • Key terms
  • Academic vocabularyĀ 
  • Questions that link on to points
  • DiagramsĀ 

The cues should intend to:

  • Clarify meaning
  • Reveal relationships
  • Strengthen your memory of a particular concept

3) Write summary

Write a very brief condensed summary of your notes. It should only contain very important details to ensure when read later it'll be able to allow you to quickly remember the content on the page.

4) Review

Review your notes regularly by covering the notes column and asking yourself the questions written in the cue column. You can see if you're able to answer the questions from memory.