Skip to Main Content

Reading Resources: Notetaking/Summarizing

Faculty Resources

Eades, C., & Moore, W. M. (2007). Ideas in practice: Strategic note taking in developmental mathematics. Journal of Developmental Education, 31(2), 18-26.

Jairam, D., & Kiewra, K. A. (2009). An investigation of the SOAR study method. Journal of Advanced Academics, 20(4), 602-629.

Notetaking & Summarizing. From Focus on Effectiveness.

Van der Meer, J. (2012). Students’ note-taking challenges in the twenty-first century: Considerations for teachers and academic staff developers. Teaching In Higher Education, 17(1), 13-23.

Active Reading & Annotating

Reading for class is very different from reading just for fun. Here are some tips for how to effectively read & prepare for class discussions. Remember, if you own the textbook, write in it! The bookstore will pay you the same amount for buyback whether you wrote in the book or not.

1. Highlight, underline, or circle key information, including vocabulary you don’t understand, significant quotes, references to other literary works, or any parts of the text relating to themes, significant characters, or events.


2. While you read, use a pencil to make notes in the margins about key material. Include important terms with definitions, your own reactions, and questions you may have. You can use punctuation marks (such as stars, arrows, question marks, check marks, and brackets) to mark the text that you may want to come back to. You should come up with your own unique system to mark what you think is important, questionable, or worthy of discussion.


3. At the end of each chapter, summarize the main ideas/events in the chapter in one or two sentences.

4. Use the inside front cover of the book to keep a list of important information with page number references in the
book. Some examples of what you could list here are themes, text that connects to the book’s title, important names of characters, memorable quotes, or key questions you may have about the text.

5. Use the inside back cover to make a list of key vocabulary words and definitions from the text. Choose words that are unique to the author/story/culture or advanced vocabulary.

Student Resources