College suggestions/advise?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iMacXpress, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. iMacXpress, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    iMacXpress macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello, Macrumors!

    This is my first year in college and I need some suggestions. I am doing fine in my math,english and computer class.

    I am taking history class and he said there will be a lot of notes, plus it is a lecture class. It is from 6pm to 9pm. I was wondering, would you guys suggest taking notes with a pen/paper or would you rather type things out on Microsoft Word? OR, what other tips would you recommend or helped you? Thanks in advance.

    Any advice would really help.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    Honestly, I've only found a laptop in class to be a hindrance. You get tempted with facebook and other stuff, while you're forced to focus on the class with pen and paper. It's also easier to format stuff the way you want and not fight with Word or Pages
     
  3. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I never really thought about that. Thanks for your input.
     
  4. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    #4
    >advises
    >College
    >College+advises

    America, ladies and gentlemen.
     
  5. huntnboy04 macrumors regular

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    #5
    Jeez, 6-9p seems late for an intro class, granted I currently have a class in that time slot, I prefer classes later in the morning. Moving on. Whatever works best for you is my answer. If they allow a laptop in class and you prefer typing go for it. I personally hand write my notes.
    One thing to keep in mind usually, at least in my experience history courses have essay exams. The fast pace of note taking may help you in an exam to write fast, and well as conditioning your hand and brain so they don't fall off while filling most of a blue book in 50 minutes.
     
  6. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Sorry, MrCheeto. My mistake. :D

    That's what I was wondering. We only meet one time a week so maybe thats why it is so long. I prefer morning classes to get them out of the way. Anyways, the history instructor said he allows laptops/tablets. I think I am going to practice writing/taking notes at a faster pace. But thanks for the tip!
     
  7. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    #7
    I personally always preferred typing my notes. That way I can make them searchable and they're easier to organize.
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #8
    For a class like history, typing notes makes sense. It takes discipline to actually use the computer ONLY for taking notes. Don't be the guy who gets distracted and who distracts others by goofing off on your laptop in class.

    For a class like math or engineering, it makes more sense (to me) to use pencil and paper, since you'll be writing a lot of equations and drawing a lot of diagrams.
     
  9. iMacXpress thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks for the tip. Yeah, that does make sense. I think I will give both a try and see how it works.
     
  10. redshift1 macrumors regular

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    Mar 2, 2010
    #10
    One thing I learned in college, find the best note taker and make them your friend. I remember one girl who could take notes in outline form as fast as the
    lecturer could talk, an amazing ability.
     
  11. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #11
    I absolutely hated taking notes on my computer, despite trying a few times. I usually took notes in a single subject spiral notebook—one for each class. I'd tuck handouts and papers into the notebook and have everything I'd need right there. I'd usually just take my notebook and a pen to class in hand, no backpack or laptop to lug around. Even a tiny, light laptop is a ball and chain, it's valuable and fragile. No worries if I left my notebook in a dining hall cubby overnight, or the backseat of a car over the weekend.

    As a back-of-the-classroom sitter I'd guess only about 15% of laptop notetakers have the self discipline to stay off facebook/addictinggames.com during class, anyhow. ;)
     
  12. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

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    #12
    taking history notes, if you can keep speed is handy because if you need info you can just do cmd+ F and find the required info though nromal notes are fine too.
     
  13. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #13
    For your first year, stick with physical notes! A computer is bulky, often inefficient for legit note-taking, and a massive temptation to be sidetracked.

    Your professors will appreciate your attention, and honestly, you'll absorb the information better than if simply plugged into your Mac.

    If you want to clean up your notes using a computer after class, now that's perfectly acceptable and very helpful in my opinion.
     
  14. skittles90623 macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2011
    #14
    honestly, if you have to take a lot of notes, go with your laptop or ipad with the bluetooth keyboard. if you think there are only a few key notes you have to jot, then paper and pen will suffice, but there are classes where the bulk of the test is based on lectures.

    turn off wifi or 3g, no angry birds :D
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #15
    Never bothered taking notes. Especially in history classes; it's all in the book.
     
  16. ExiledMafia macrumors regular

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    #16
    To be honest in my first 3 years in college bringing a laptop means one thing distractions. Don't even bring it pen and paper is the best and only way.
     
  17. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

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    #17
    Read anything by Cal Newport in his site "Study Hacks"
    and his second book, how to become a straight-A student, is a must.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    I'd agree with this post. Pen and paper (and using your ears and brain, - you'd don't need to take down every syllable, just the key points) would be my suggestion. It is an excellent idea to transfer notes to a computer after class - besides which, it gives you time to refresh the material and focus on what is necessary.

    Worth noting, a few very good points and a post I'm in agreement with.

    Here, I have to say, utter tosh. History has many books, far more per course than most students are prepared to read or study (or have the time to do); besides, usually, there are not right or wrong answers in history, there are responses that are more or less credible.

    I've worked as a history (and earlier, politics, too) lecturer at a number of universities over that past twenty years or so.

    The first thing to say to the OP is that history is a subject that requires a lot of reading, a fair bit of thinking, and quite a bit of essay writing.

    What is being tested in the essay writing is your understanding - as much as your knowledge - of the topic that was set. Accuracy in facts matters, but so does understanding of background and analysis of causes, courses and consequences.

    The big questions asked are usually the standard ones: Who, what, where, when, and, in history, these are usually (but not always) straightforward. Something either happened, or it didn't. The questions that can get tricky, or contentious, and the ones that all of the analytical disputes take place around, are the "how" and "why" questions. Here, a wide knowledge and mastery of the material helps when coming up with an answer.

    Lectures usually do not (or ought not) simply discuss what is in the book; more usually, they discuss the topic around what is in the book (or books) - and, (this is where miles01110 misses the point about it "all being in the book"), lecturers often have access to sources students know little or nothing about, or deliberately assign provocative books to read, books which take a strong stance (and where, for reasons of strong bias, everything most certainly was not in the book) in an attempt to make the student argue.

    Your task when note taking is not to take down everything the lecturer says; I used to be stunned at how most of my students wrote down everything. Your task is to listen, to have some idea of the material, and to try to see what sort of sense the lecturer is making of this material. That means cultivating listening - and analytical - as much as writing skills. So, pen and paper works best in this context, and it is what I use myself, still, (when attending meetings and seminars) and subsequently, transferring a succinct account of what happened to a computer.

    Hope this may be of help. ;)

    Cheers
     
  19. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #19
    It is not relevant how many texts there are, or how many texts students are willing/not willing to read. If notes don't help someone, they don't help someone. I fail to see how writing something down that someone has already written down counts as "learning", but maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand the advantages of taking notes.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    Yes, there are lecturers who simply use the source texts, - and worse, simply read from them - and I, too, suffered such classes as an undergrad. However, the best lecturers used a wide variety of sources and try to synthesise and ask questions of the material in question. Hence, it is not simply a matter of "writing down what someone else has written down", it is a question of interrogating the material, the matters under discussion and asking the students to think about it.

    Thus, the best lecturers will often make points, or connections, that no book will offer, and that's why it is a good idea to take some notes. It is like opening a door in the student's mind and pointing to the existence of previously unknown, or unsuspected, avenues of thought.

    In history essays and exams, students are examined not simply on their knowledge of the subject, (such as the facts, and the sources, and history is a subject where the facts do matter), but also on their understanding of that material - they are asked to critically address and analyse that knowledge in order to answer the actual question asked of them.

    Cheers
     
  21. Purestang macrumors member

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    Dec 22, 2010
    #21
    Im an over achiever.....LOL. I go to class and hand write my notes, then i come home and make my own notes based off the book and the lecture i just had, then i type them out on the computer.

    :eek:
     
  22. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #22
    In my case, it was clear that writing something down helped me to remember it. Yes, even if it was something I had already read.
     
  23. Lagmonster macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2007
    #23
    I have been out of school for almost 15 years now but I did learn one thing that should be timeless. Sit up front. When I figured that out, my grades went way up. I would skip the laptop and go with paper.
     
  24. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    #24
    I'd say try it out. See if taking notes on the computer works. If it doesn't, then use a notebook. If it does, then do em on a computer.
     
  25. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    #25
    I think a great deal has to do with the fact that writing is more natural, intuitive, and lacks a secondary step. You listen, and write: simple and straightforward. Also, depending on the class or subject — sciences, math, design/art, etc. — charts, diagrams, and other visual sketches are important. I've still never found a better way to record something of this nature than using my own eyes and hands, recording that directly onto my note paper (and tablets aren't okay to bring to class – too time consuming/rude).
     

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