Note Making

Making notes is a useful practice as it often helps students during lectures, while preparing for exams and revising for them. It also helps condense long chapters into short, to the point material, which further helps one to remember the gathered information. Moreover, texts are better understood with the help of notes.

Today, extensive reading is the buzz word in every field of study or research. While reading, we are often bombarded with information of a vast ambit. It often becomes difficult to recall all the key points of a passage/ article we may have read.

Note-making is a means to capture the key ideas of a given passage in an easily readable, logically structured format. The style is fairly casual and we are even allowed to use abbreviations. The key to abbreviations at the end of the task ensures that any other reader may also be able to interpret the gist of the passage. Thus, note-making can be a wonderful tool to take notes in class, share notes with each other and even revise for an exam.

How to Make Notes

  1. Read the passage carefully and understand the main/general meaning of the passage. You must comprehend the theme and subject of the passage.
  2. Once you know what the passage is all about, mark the main components or sub parts of the passage. Look for details, points, opinions or conclusions drawn from the passage. Make sure, no important point is missed out.
  3. Give your notes a title, make sure it’s short and crisp. It should be based on the central idea of the passage.
  4. Next, frame, main headings and subheadings to put across crucial components given in the passage. It should be the main idea of the passage presented in bullets or numbered points.
  5. In case, the subheadings can be further provided with important details, write them in points specifically under the subheading to which it belongs.
  6. Do not write full sentences; use abbreviations whenever necessary.
  7. Use proper indentation to present the notes. Sub-sections are written a little further from the main heading; be consistent while numbering.

How to Use Abbreviations and Symbols

While making notes, using abbreviations and symbols help in saving time and space. There are different ways to abbreviate long or complicated words:

  • Using the initials of two or more words e.g., United Nations – U.N., etc.
  • Using the first few letters of the words e.g., construction – Const., abbreviation – abbr., etc.
  • Universally recognised abbreviations e.g., Opposite – Opp., government – govt., department – dept., etcetera – etc., that is – i.e., etc.
  • Removing the vowels e.g., reading – rdng, books- bks, shopping – shppng, etc.
  • Universally recognised symbols e.g.,\ Therefore, Q because, > greater, larger, < less, smaller, ↓ falling, decrease,↑ rising, increase

How to Write Summary:

A summary is usually one-third the length of the original passage. Ideally, a summary must provide the information in the same order as given in the original passage. While writing the summary, it is advisable that you refer to the notes you have already made. This will help you in keeping your summary short and crisp, informative and original. However, make sure, all the important components of the passage have been covered in the summary.

Note Making Format


  • Heading 1
    1. Supporting points 1
    2. Supporting points 2
    3. Supporting points 3
  • Heading 2
    1. Supporting points 1
    2. Supporting points 2
    3. Supporting points 3
  • Heading 3
    1. Supporting points 1
    2. Supporting points 2
    3. Supporting points 3
  • Heading 4
    • Supporting points 1
    • Supporting points 2
    • Supporting points 3
Key to Abbreviations
1. eg. – example
2. etc. – etcetera
3. & – and

Note Making Examples

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