The Cornell Method

The Cornell Method is a note taking strategy in which a note taker splits each page into two main sections and includes a summary of the information that he or she recorded in those sections at the end of each day’s notes. All of the major topics, subtopics, and key terms that a note taker learns on a particular day are written in the first section, which is typically located on the left hand side of the page. All of the actual details about the major topics, subtopics, and key terms that a note taker learns on a particular day are written in the second section, which is typically located on the right hand side of the page. The note taker then writes a summary, which is typically located at the bottom of the page (or on the back of the page if you were required to take a lot of notes), that provides a brief rundown of the information that the note taker learned on that particular day. This strategy can be very helpful when your teacher or professor is trying to teach a lot of information in a single class or is trying to teach you a lot of key terms and concepts.

It is important to note, however, that there are a couple of things that you should know about the Cornell Method before you use it.


Examples of the Cornell Note-Taking System