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Text Book and Lecture Notes

To organize complete and accurate notes from textbooks and lectures, a learner must recognize the clues to main ideas and details. Once main ideas and details have been identified, notes can be organized in a manner that promotes and not hinders learning.


Pay attention to the following: 

  • Bold print
  • Italics
  • Chapter title
  • Sub-headings
  • Numbered items
  • Graphs, Charts, and Diagrams
  • Colored or highlighted words and phrases
  • Lettered items 
  • Numbered items
  • Chapter summaries
  • Chapter questions
  • Listing or outline of the main ideas in the chapter


  • Topics to be covered that are listed on the board or overhead
  • Main ideas and details placed on the chalkboard
  • Verbal listing of topics to be covered
  • Clue words such as: "First........... "Next........"Furthermore...... "The first step.... "Last............. "Then............. "More importantly....."In contrast..... “Another .......
  • Information that is repeated
  • Gestures such as pointing, especially at ideas on the board
  • Concepts in lecture AND in the textbook
  • Instructor may tell you something is important
  • Raising or lowering of voice pitch/loudness
  • Instructor speaks faster or slower
  • Topics covered in handouts
  • The amount of time spent on an idea or concept: more time means more importance
  • Ideas covered on overhead projections
  • Questions an instructor asks in class


9/91rev5/10, 2/11,4/12, 8/12 Developed by Dennis H. Congos, Academic Advisor & Learning Skills Specialist, First Year Advising and Exploration, 116 Phillips Hall, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816 407-823-3789 Email:

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