P repare to take notes.
  • Get your writing or word processing material together.
  • Before listening to the tape, read the notes that you took in the lecture or notes that you got from others. Try to make yourself familiar with the information that you will hear on the tape. This will make it much easier to understand.
A notepad.

lay the tape in small sections.
  • Do not listen to the whole tape or large sections at one time.

  • Listen for a particular amount of time (for example, 2 minutes) or listen to the information on a specific topic.

  • Take notes after each section. If you need to replay a section, go back and replay it as many times as necessary.

A tape recorder.
1. First listen: listen for meaning.
  • The purpose of the first listen is to get an overall picture of what is being said on this segment of the tape. Listen to get the main ideas.

  • If the section doesn't make sense, read the notes that you took on this topic or look at the notes you have from the teacher or other students. Going back and listening to the previous section may also help.

An ear listening to a tape recorder.

Second listen: take notes.
  • After you understand the section, take notes.

  • Try to organize your notes in an outline form.

Reading notes and listening to a lecture.

Third Listen: review.
  • Listen to the tape again as you read the notes you have taken.

  • Make sure that you have included all the important materials.

  • As you read the notes and listen to the lecture, color code the notes you have made. Use a highlighter with one color for main ideas and another for details.

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