Notetaking Systems - Study Skills Library - Cal Poly

The Cornell Note-taking Method

The Cornell method involves organizing your note-taking page into two regions, left and right. After writing the notes in the main, right-hand space, use the left-hand space to label each idea and detail with a key word or "cue." When studying, use the cues to recall the material.


  1. Rule your paper with two and half inch margin on the left and six-inch area on the right.
  2. During class, write down your notes in the six-inch area--when the lecturer moves to a new idea or point, skip a few lines.
  3. After class, fill-in or complete the phrases in your notes as much as possible.
  4. Write a cue word or phrase in the left margin for every significant bit of information you want to remember.
  5. To review, cover your notes, leaving the cues exposed. Say the cue out loud and then say as much as you can of the covered material. When you have said as much as you can, see if what you said matches what is written. Repeat until all the material can be recalled from just looking at the cues.
Note-Taking Made Easy
by Judi Kesselman-Turkel

Related Posts