Note-Taking and Reading


Note-taking and reading are part of the foundation of college studying and learning. The expectation in college is that you read considerable amounts of text for each subject with the goal of learning more about the subjects. You may encounter reading situations, such as professional journal articles and long textbook chapters, that are more difficult to understand than texts you have read previously. As you progress through your college courses, you can employ reading strategies to help you complete your college reading assignments. Likewise, you will take notes in college that need to be complete so you can study and recall the information you learn in lectures and lab sessions. With so much significant information that you need to collect, study, and recall for your college courses, you need to be deliberate in your reading and note-taking.

Honing these fundamental skills can only help you succeed in college and beyond because you will need to be able to take in and recall a vast amount of information. To that end, consider what else about reading and note-taking you would like to learn or practice. Choose one of the following to explore further this term:

  • Develop more curiosity about what you are reading by creating questions about what you will learn or how you will use the information. Look for articles, blog posts, podcasts, books, and films about what you are learning to help you develop more knowledge.
  • Explore the best reading strategy for your most challenging courses. Choose one of them, use it, and determine how well it worked.
  • Practice revising reading and lecture notes as part of organizing your study materials and developing a deeper understanding of the content. Check the results of this reorganization the next time you take a quiz or test.



Adapted from Amy Baldwin’s “3. Reading and Note-Taking: Summary” of College Success Concise, 2023, used according to  CC by 4.0. Access for free at




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UNM Core Writing OER Collection Copyright © 2023 by University of New Mexico is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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