Step #4: Define and Explain the Key Terms
Write brief explanations or definitions of the key terms next to them, whenever possible. Again, don’t write down everything the professor says. Try to jot down just a few words or phrases that will help you remember what a term means later on.
If you can’t write much about a particular term, don’t worry. Just keep listening and writing! You’ll have plenty of time to fill in more information later. If your professor has moved on to introduce a new topic or key term while you are still taking notes on a previous one, then leave that term behind.
You don’t need to write perfect, grammatically correct sentences. These notes are written only for you; as long as they make sense to you, nothing else really matters.
Keeping up with required reading can help when you take notes, as you will feel somewhat familiar with the material already. Key terms from reading assignments are often reinforced in class and vise versa.