Necessary to take notes while reading?

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frankjones
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Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby frankjones » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:57 pm

For 2 and 3L's: I have no problem taking notes while in class. However, I hate taking notes while reading, say, a casebook--it just slows me down a ton and I feel like I'm missing subtle points no matter how careful (and slow) I am. Do I need to bite the bullet and do it, or is that overkill? Is it okay to read and feel like I understand what I read, without memorizing all of it? Or do I really need to have everything we're assigned to read down cold. Again, I plan on outlining class notes for sure--I'm just not sure about the reading.

rynabrius
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby rynabrius » Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:58 pm

Yes, you most likely need to take notes while reading. I never underlined, instead I would use a pencil to summarize each paragraph/major point. (I would use simple tag like "H" for the holding, F for facts, etc.) I would then transcribe my marginalia to my briefs template, which included facts, issue, holding, procedural history, etc. With enough practice, it becomes second nature, and it led to a lot less anxiety than trying to remember everything.

I'm not saying you have to use this particular system, but my sense is that almost all very successful students take notes.
Last edited by rynabrius on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

frost
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby frost » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:29 pm

I also took notes even though it slowed me down significantly. It helped me to thoroughly analyze cases, figure out what was important, and it made getting called on much smoother. When I had to recite the facts of the case, it was all in front of me, sort of like a brief. That saved me from lots of uhm's and page-flipping while on the hot seat. Also, it helped to have everything in my OneNote file so that when it came time to outline, I didn't have to go back and forth between classnotes and reading. So even though it's time-consuming, I told myself it's time saved in the long run. I know some people that basically had to re-read their cases because they just highlighted minimally as they read the cases an hour before class, but couldn't remember anything a month later during finals time.

revolution724
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby revolution724 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:53 pm

I took only occasional notes while writing, but I did a lot of highlighting and arrows and things like RULE -> or DISTINGUISH FROM VOSBURG -> or CLARIFY WITH PROF WHAT THIS MEANS -> or OMG CLARENCE THOMAS IS AN IDIOT-> in my books. Yeah, it cuts down on their resale value, but they come out with new editions so often that I decided I didn't care.

I never used highlighters in my life before law school, incidentally.

Do briefs count as notes? That's time-consuming, but helpful at first.

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underdawg
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby underdawg » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:04 pm

i think it's largely a waste of time. after it's covered in class, and after whatever unit is done in class (let's say...personal jxn), THEN when you look back you'll know what was important from each case. i dunno-i'm a proponent of skim for class, don't care if you look like an ass in class, figure out what's important, then really roll up your sleeves

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zeth006
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby zeth006 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:29 pm

This reminds me. I need to pick up a hi-lighter at the bookstore. Guess I'm off to the bookstore after lunch.

revolution724
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby revolution724 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:34 pm

zeth006 wrote:This reminds me. I need to pick up a hi-lighter at the bookstore. Guess I'm off to the bookstore after lunch.


Dude, you know you pay 3x as much at the bookstore as you do at CVS, or whatever is your local functional equivalent. You can probably get highlighters at a dollar store.

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presh
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby presh » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:38 pm

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zeth006
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby zeth006 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:39 pm

revolution724 wrote:
zeth006 wrote:This reminds me. I need to pick up a hi-lighter at the bookstore. Guess I'm off to the bookstore after lunch.


Dude, you know you pay 3x as much at the bookstore as you do at CVS, or whatever is your local functional equivalent. You can probably get highlighters at a dollar store.



Paid a few bucks for a set of 6 miniature high-lighters. No sweat.

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presh
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby presh » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:46 pm

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

revolution724
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby revolution724 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:47 pm

presh wrote:
revolution724 wrote:
zeth006 wrote:This reminds me. I need to pick up a hi-lighter at the bookstore. Guess I'm off to the bookstore after lunch.


Dude, you know you pay 3x as much at the bookstore as you do at CVS, or whatever is your local functional equivalent. You can probably get highlighters at a dollar store.


CVS or Walmart maybe, but dollar store highlighters bleed through too much to be useful.


There's both at least one CVS and at least one Duane Reade (which is like CVS) within two blocks of my school, IDK. I never buy supplies at the bookstore. Whatev', I'm broke so I'm cheap.

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presh
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby presh » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:55 pm

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

revolution724
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby revolution724 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:56 pm

presh wrote:
Oh, definitely agree with you on this. I'm just pointing out for fellow cheapskates that there is a limit how far down the chain you want to go. I have made this mistake. It's how I know about the bleeding.


So noted. I hadn't personally tried the dollar store option, so given this info, I'll stick to the drug stores too.

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Duralex
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby Duralex » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:14 pm

presh wrote:
rynabrius wrote:Yes, you most likely need to take notes while reading. I never underlined, instead I would use a pencil to summarize each paragraph/major point. (I would use simple tag like "H" for the holding, F for facts, etc.) I would then transcribe my marginalia to my briefs template, which included facts, issue, holding, procedural history, etc. With enough practice, it becomes second nature, and it led to a lot less anxiety than trying to remember everything.

I'm not saying you have to use this particular system, but my sense is that almost all very successful students take notes.


I can't tell if you are serious or not, but if you are, T(not)CR. Within the successful students at my school (top ten percent only), less than half used this type of system.

OP, if it is helping you, do it. If not, do what works for you. My study habits looked very different from almost every "succeeding in law school" thread on here, and I still did well.


I do something like this, although I do underline passages as well as annotate and transcribe key phrases verbatim. This works well for me (and has at both UG and doing legal work) so if that puts me in the same learning category as "less than half" (i.e. up to 49%) of the top students, so be it. Plus, those that don't take notes this way probably haven't tried it--so their success is not compelling evidence of another method's shortcomings. I'm willing to bet the correlation with grades would be a lot stronger for many traits other than note-taking style.

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presh
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby presh » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:21 pm

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rynabrius
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Re: Necessary to take notes while reading?

Postby rynabrius » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:31 am

presh wrote:
Duralex wrote:
presh wrote:
rynabrius wrote:Yes, you most likely need to take notes while reading. I never underlined, instead I would use a pencil to summarize each paragraph/major point. (I would use simple tag like "H" for the holding, F for facts, etc.) I would then transcribe my marginalia to my briefs template, which included facts, issue, holding, procedural history, etc. With enough practice, it becomes second nature, and it led to a lot less anxiety than trying to remember everything.

I'm not saying you have to use this particular system, but my sense is that almost all very successful students take notes.


I can't tell if you are serious or not, but if you are, T(not)CR. Within the successful students at my school (top ten percent only), less than half used this type of system.

OP, if it is helping you, do it. If not, do what works for you. My study habits looked very different from almost every "succeeding in law school" thread on here, and I still did well.


I do something like this, although I do underline passages as well as annotate and transcribe key phrases verbatim. This works well for me (and has at both UG and doing legal work) so if that puts me in the same learning category as "less than half" (i.e. up to 49%) of the top students, so be it. Plus, those that don't take notes this way probably haven't tried it--so their success is not compelling evidence of another method's shortcomings. I'm willing to bet the correlation with grades would be a lot stronger for many traits other than note-taking style.


I'm not saying this doesn't work for anyone. I'm objecting to the assertion that OP "most likely needs" to do things that way to succeed and "almost all successful students" do that.

And I tried several things, including that type of note-taking, before settling on what worked for me.

My whole point is Do What Works For You. That includes that type of system. If it works for you, great!


You misread what I wrote. I said it was most likely necessary to take notes. I then outlined my system of note-taking, and went on to claim that almost all successful students take notes. I never made the claim that almost all successful students use a system like mine; I know they don't.




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