Cornell Notes

Cornell Notes
During Reading Activity
How it is Used:
This note-taking method helps students to take organized notes by enabling them to focus
on the main ideas. It helps them to keep in mind what they are looking for as they are
reading a passage or the text.
1. Have students divide a piece of paper into three sections and label as found in the
example below. This can also be a graphic organizer that you provide for the
Questions/Main Ideas/
Key Concepts
2. Have students record the essential questions, main ideas and/or key concepts in
the left column. (You can provide students with a list of items you would like for
them to include in the left column or have students record the essential questions,
bold terms, objectives, etc., if reading from the text.)
3. Students are to record the answers to the questions, provide supporting details for
the main ideas and/or identify and describe the key concepts in the right column.
4. Remind students not to use complete sentences and to skip a line between ideas
and topics.
5. After note taking is complete, students should write a summary of the main ideas
in the summary section at the bottom of their notes.
Why it Works:
Students have a guided purpose for their reading. It keeps them focused and they are
always aware of what they are looking for. The Cornell Notes method is proven to
benefit students when they are required to synthesize and apply knowledge of a concept.
It also serves as a great study tool.