Reading and Note taking strategies (the PPRR Method)
THE PURPOSE of taking notes:
1. To learn kinetically: sift, sort, understand.
2. To give your brain's "tabletop" a break--if you don't, things will inevitably "fall off!"
3. To create memory triggers for the hard drive (the long term memory) in your brain.
FOR YOUR TEXTBOOK P-P-R-R
P-Prepare: take out notebook, terms list or work sheet
Open your book to the table of contents and find the section you need to read
Note the chapter and unit that the reading fits into
(this process is called "orienting" yourself--kind of like looking at a map);
leaf through the chunk you will read:
note sub headings, titles of pictures and charts. (1-2 minutes)
Don' t write anything down.
R-Read and take notes:
READ a section or a couple of pages at a time with focus (time varies).
Don't waste your time if you cannot focus.
Take notes on headings, topic sentences, chronology and debates; (time varies)
Take notes in your own words--summarize, do not copy.
Put quotation marks where you copy. Why is this a good habit?
LOOK at pictures, charts and maps;
Take notes to summarize the significance of ones that seem especially important
(usually a couple per chapter)
R-Review: look over your notes and summarize in a sentence or two (written out or just thought out) what you just read (1-3 minutes).
FOR PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS
P-Prepare: take out notebook, terms list, or work sheet
P-Preread: leaf through the documents you need to read; note chapter heading, sub headings, titles of documents, authors and dates. Don' t write anything down.
Read and take notes:
R-READ documents one by one with focus. Don't waste your time if you cannot focus.
take notes on headings, titles, authors and dates
Figure out what kind of document it is and note this (1 minute)
Summarize the content of the document briefly.
The PURPOSE of your notes is to trigger memory of things you did not take notes on
Note bias (1 minute).
Analyze the significance of the document- why might this document be significant?
How does it fit into the topic we are studying?
Summarize your analysis in your notes (2-5 minutes).
R-Review: look over your notes and summarize in a sentence or two (written out or just thought out) what you just read.