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How to take notes about a family tree in an archive or while interviewing relatives?

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There are a few key rules in note taking below.

1.Use lots of space. Paper is cheap. Better to have empty spaces than cramped, jammed up notes because there was no room to add additional material later.

2.You can't write everything. Unless you have special skills, the average instructor can talk much faster than you can write. So don't try to get it all. Practice identifying what's important.

3.You need to develop your most effective note taking style. I'll provide some examples, but you will need to experiment.

4.Emphasize key points. Your instructor will use emphasis to highlight certain ideas or facts. You need to do the same.

5.Have a plan. You need to know what you wish to achieve with your note taking.

6.Pre-read the material. Pre-reading, where have we heard of that before? You need to have some familiarity with the material already so you aren't so concerned with simply writing information down, but can afford to be selective.

There are different ways to take notes, but let's talk about some commonalities.

First, you are unique. You have a learning style and memory system that is unique to you. Everyone has a note taking system that is best for them. You've probably heard that people learn in three main ways, visually, aurally and kinesthetically. In most people, one of these methods will dominate. You need to spend some time thinking about which of these ways is your preferred style and then think about how this applies to note taking.

It is no good to try and capture every word an instructor says if your preferred learning method is kinesthetic. You need to create notes that capture movement and action, or the sense of movement and action to get your mind engaged. You will be particularly interested in mind mapping.

Second, your notes will be far more effective if you preview the lecture material ahead of time. Some experts even suggest you make lecture notes before you get to class. You can do this by reading through the text, and using chapter headings, sub-headings, graphics or charts and the main ideas from key paragraphs. If you do your note taking ahead of time, leaving lots of space, you don't have to write madly in class during the lecture. You can focus on what the instructor is saying, and use underlining, asterisks, high-liters etc. to identify key points. You can add anything you missed by making quick notes during the lecture.

Third, write down questions as they occur to you. This is another reason you need extra space. By thinking or and recording questions, you make the lecture personal. You have questions and you need answers now. It helps lock the info into your brain.

And fourth, you need to record any emphasis the instructor applies to any of the information. Emphasis is identified in several ways. We'll talk about them later.

I'm a resume writer, to write a resume for teachers I have to listen to my clients carefully and note all clue points and facts as soon as possible. So, these are my proven tips, I hope they will come in handy.

asked May 2 by georgecruesby (120 points)

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