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Use Your Cornell Notes

28 Jul 2017

Storing lecture notes as Cornell Notes is the first step to study success. You also need to be able to recall the information from memory when you need it. You strengthen this process with daily recall.


'Talking aloud to the wall' is an important aspect of Walter Pauk's Cornell Notes method. The sound of your voice increases memorization and helps to imprint your Cornell Notes in your memory. You recite (speak out loud) your notes every day until all your notes are totally familiar.

The method to use is;- Cover notes side of the page (green)- Say aloud keywords/questions (yellow)- Keep answers covered. Say the response.- Repeat for all keywords/questions.- Uncover answers.

Revise forgotten points.

Recite and recall your notes daily until all points are memorized. After that do recitation twice-weekly or so to maintain recall at 100%.


Reflection is done when everything that you wrote at the original note taking stage is familiar and the answers to the keyword questions in the left-side columns are fully memorized.

Now complete the bottom section of your Cornell notes with a sentence that summarizes the main points made on that page. This is also the time to upgrade your notes by including new information gathered from more recent study and reading.


Using your own words you make completely new summary notes that combine the original notes with all any additional reading and study information that you have gained. Trash the original notes page when you finish writing the newer updated version.

Your new summary Walter Pauk's Cornell Notes include;- new keyword questions,- lecture summary notes,- research reading notes, and- seminars and tutorials notes.

By reflecting and re-arranging your study notes in this manner you keep them relevant to your current understanding of course material and you strengthen your long-term memory which makes exams easy to pass.

If you place Cornell Notes pages into course ring-binder files and use plastic section dividers to categorize them as 'Weekly Recitation' and 'Daily Recitation' you will make the memorization process more manageable.

By the end of the semester all notes should be in the maintenance weekly recitation section of your Cornell Notes folders.

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