Cornell Notes System

How to Use Your Notebook
A. Descriptions
 1. A system for using a notebook to help learn
important material in a class or lesson.
 2. A way to turn a notebook into a study guide
B. History of the Cornell Notes System
 1. Invented by Walter Pauk of Cornell University
 2. Designed to help students not just write notes
in a notebook, but also use the notebook for
A. Puts facts into your long-term memory
 1. Two types of memory
▪ a. Short-term memory
▪ i. Holds onto facts, but forgets them as soon as you are done
using them.
▪ ii. Example: what did you have for lunch last Friday?
▪ b. Long-term memory
▪ i. Holds onto facts for long periods of time
▪ ii. Example: what is your home phone number?
▪ iii. Facts only go in Long-term memory through repetition
B. CNS helps keep the notes focused on the
important ideas.
 1. Notes can get filled with whatever is on the
 2. Sometimes it is hard to separate the important
stuff from the unimportant
 3. CNS helps us keep it separate and organized.
Take a minute to memorize this number:
In your pairs, quiz each other. See how many
tries it takes to get it right!
A. Each page gets a layout
(Red lines mean nothing)
2.5 inches
Cues or
Main Ideas
on this side
Notes on this side
B. During class, notes get written in the big
section to the right of the line
 Always start with the Title of the notes and the
 Always take neat notes. Otherwise, what’s the
C. Later, write “Cues” in the area on the left.
 1. Cues are super-short phrases or questions
about the notes.
 2. Example: “Two types of memory”
 3. Before a test or quiz, you can cover the notes
and use the Cues as study questions
D. Also later, write a Summary at the end of
the day’s notes.
 1. One or two sentences about the “big ideas” of
the notes of the day
The Summary goes
at the bottom
Q: When should I write in the Cues and
A. Usually, we do it that night or the next
day. That way, we are repeating the
information into our long-term memory.
Q: Do I have to do a strict outline in my
A. Today’s notes followed strict outline form
(I, A, 1, a, I, etc.) but any kind of notes will
Q: Is the Cornell Notes System required?
A. In science class, the CNS will be required
for notes, at least for the first semester. This
is to try to develop good study habits from
the beginning.
#1. In your pairs, decide on an appropriate Cue
to go with these notes:
There are 5 major continents on Earth:
1. Asia
2. Europe
3. Africa
4. North America
5. South America
6. Australia
7. Antarctica
#2. In your pairs, decide on an appropriate Cue
to go with these notes:
7. Antarctica
• The southernmost continent
• Bigger than Europe
• Considered a desert because it
rarely rains
• Has 6 months of daylight and then
6 months of night
In your pairs, decide on the best Summary
about a day of notes explaining Baseball.
a. If a pitcher throws 3 strikes, then the batter is out.
b. Baseball was originally an American sport, but is now
enjoyed by people from other countries.
c. The Red Sox is the favorite baseball team for most New
d. Baseball is a team-based sport enjoyed by Americans in
which players try to hit the ball and run around the bases
in order to score runs.
On a piece of lined paper, write a sentence
that best summarizes what we learned in
class yesterday.
On the same paper, write a sentence that
best summarizes why the Cornell Notes
System is helpful for students