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Chemistry LibreTexts

Research: Get the Big Picture Using Cornell Notes

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  • Big Picture through Cornell Notes



    Student Example


    Good readers, thinkers, and scholars always approach their reading and research by developing their background knowledge about the topic.

    Any time a researcher sets out to better understand the life and times of a particular person, the first step, even before defining the purpose for the research or any larger purpose, is to read a basic biography of the person in question.  You can’t ask good questions if you don’t start with a tiny bit of background information!

    In this case, we’re going to begin by reading a basic encyclopedia entry about Martin Luther King, Jr. from World Book Online. 

    -PRINT and READ the article attached below and HIGHLIGHT what you feel is most important as you read.  Consider these questions:


    • Why is it that Americans consider MLK pivotal to the Civil Rights movement?
    • What core events happened in King’s life that shaped who he was?

    -After you’ve done an initial reading of the article and highlighted the key points, GO BACK and TAKE NOTES using the Cornell note-taking method. Yes, use this particular method that has helped many college students to achieve success. The video on the left can help if you've never taken Cornell notes before.

    AVOID PLAGIARISM by taking notes carefully.  Use your own words and your own sentence structures as you record thoughts. Best is to use minimal verbiage -- simple phrases. 

    -Look at this STUDENT EXAMPLE on the left.

    -Use the basic template for Cornell notes linked below. (Make a copy.)

    -You can write your notes by hand on a printed template if you prefer.  Upload a scan or high-resolution photo of your notes.

    -Submit your notes on the next page in the dropbox.