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IT 342: Operating Systems Fundamentals

This guide provides IT 342 students with access to recommended resources and assistance.

Note Taking Tips

Notes you should take:

  • Big ideas: what main ideas are reflected in the introduction, conclusion, abstract, and section titles? Be sure to record all relevant details of the big ideas in the text as you read the entire piece.
    • Follow visual cues: main ideas will often be bolded, italicized, bulleted, set in different font sizes, color, and/or spacing. Additionally, illustrations, figures, tables, charts, diagrams, and the corresponding captions elaborate on key ideas. Use these to determine the significance of concepts, and to take notes accordingly.
  • What's repeated: concepts, formulas, facts, and processes mentioned more than once in the piece are likely significant.

Source (

How you should take notes?

Your optimal style may include the following:

  • Dating your notes, and provide a heading that describes the piece's overall content.
  • Numbering the pages of your notes.
  • Paraphrasing instead of writing verbatim - writing in your own words, except for formulas, definitions, and specific facts (i.e. involving dates), which should be recorded exactly as in the text.
  • Using consistent abbreviations and symbols.
  • Developing an ideal organizational format, like an outline, map, table, or notecards, depending on content.
  • Leaving room in the margins for additional thoughts or questions.
  • Typing your notes, which can be used for exam-studying, once you have clarified any ambiguities.

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There are a number of different ways to take notes, and several are listed below.  There are four general ideas that could help you improve your note taking: 

  • Use white space to separate major ideas.
  • Try to limit your notes to one concept or section per page.
  • Use abbreviations and/or symbols where possible to avoid long sentences.
  • Write down the information in your own words

Remember, whatever method you choose, make sure it is one you are comfortable with.

The Cornell Method

The Cornell Method uses two columns: one containing the keyword or concept, and the other containing the description or notes associated with the keyword or concept.  In the one column, list the main ideas or write a paragraph and in the other column the keyword or concept that relates to your section of notes. At the bottom of the page you should write paragraphs summarizing the information contained in the notes.

The Outlining Method

This method involves writing a series of topics and sub-topics, and identifying them by indenting the text, numbering the lines, or using a dash or bullet point.

Outlining Method example:​​

1.  Main Topic

  • Sub-Topic

    • Detailed points

    • Detailed points

  • Sub-Topic

2.  Second Main Topic

The Charting Method

Charting is effectively a table of rows and columns. The top row normally classifies the concept with descriptions or keywords listed in the row below.

Charting Method Example:
Theory Who? Proposed Publication
Special theory of relativity Albert Einstein 1905

'On the electrodynamics

of moving bodies'

Law of universal  gravitation Isaac Newton 1687 Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica

This method enables you to quickly identify facts and their relationships with other information.