Study Skills – Listening and making notes

دوره: تحصیل در خارج از کشور / فصل: مهارت های مطالعه / درس 4

Study Skills – Listening and making notes

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You might know how to listen well in English, but listening to academic talk can still be a challenge! We've got some top note taking tips for you to make academic listening a breeze. Find out in this episode of our Study Skills series - part of our 'Go The Distance' course, giving you the skills and knowledge you need to be a top-class distance learner! For more information about academic know-how, English language and study skills for distance learners, visit us at http-// To find out more about our partner, The Open University, go to http-//

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Welcome to our lesson.

Please listen carefully and make notes.

First one: before you listen.

Don’t note everything down.

And to save space, use abbreviations many times.

And a quick and clear way to show relationships is to use symbols.

Whoa there.

Not easy, is it?

Taking notes while listening is challenging.

So, first off, here are three ways to help you listen more effectively.

Number one.

Don’t worry if you don’t get every word.

Just try to focus on the main points.

Number two.

If you miss a bit, don’t keep thinking about it.

You’ll miss even more if you do that.

Number three.

If it’s a video or audio file, pause and replay important or difficult bits.

Now, ten top tips for taking better notes while listening.

First one.

Before you listen, gather information.

Read relevant course materials.

Anticipate what’s going to appear.

You can research key words and phrases in advance, so you’re not surprised when you hear them.

Another tip.

Don’t note everything down.

Take shortened notes.

Think about what’s useful and what you can leave out.

And to save space and time, use abbreviations when you can.

And a quick and clear way to show relationships is to use symbols.

For example: ‘equal to’, ‘therefore’, and arrows.

Lots of arrows!

In fact, if you really love arrows, you might prefer a mind map or a flow chart to show how things connect.

Or you might prefer to write simple lines of notes.

But don’t forget, you can use capital letters, underlining, colours and shapes to help information stand out.

Choose the style that works best for you.


By now you’re probably taking a lot of notes.

But this is important: leave some white space so you can add thoughts and clarify things later.

And while you’re listening: a warning.

How will you know if you’re noting down a fact or an opinion?

If the speaker is just giving an opinion or if the speaker is quoting someone else, make this clear in your notes.

Is there a handout for the lecture?

If so, you can use this as a basis for your own notes, adding your own thoughts, rather than copying it out.

And, once you’ve finished, remember to reread your notes to help the information stick.

And rewrite your notes soon after taking them, to help them stay in the memory.

There we are.

Ten top tips.

Now, try watching this whole video again, and this time take your own notes!

Good luck.

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