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How you like to organise your notes is a very personal thing; everyone has their own style and structure. Whilst you may have already mastered the art of notetaking, we thought we’d highlight a few of the different ways you can organise your notes so that your future-self will love your present-self when it comes to writing an essay or exam revision.
There are effectively three ways you can take notes; by hand, on your computer/tablet, or a combination of both. Finding out which you prefer will largely be a matter of trial and error.
Which you choose may depend on the volume of notes you wish to take; some people like to have a full, comprehensive log of notes to refer to, whilst others take the minimalist approach, writing down only key points and ideas.
Do whatever will suit your style of learning. Some people learn best by taking notes, whilst others learn better by sitting back and listening - there is no right or wrong way.
Of course, it’s wise to play to your strengths; if you have unintelligible handwriting, typed notes will probably serve you better. However, if a sloth could type up lecture slides faster than you could, you might find it more efficient to take written notes.
Research has found that pen and paper help you remember more, but typing gives you a greater quantity of notes. So it’s basically a tradeoff between quality vs. quantity. Just bear in mind what will make your life easier when it comes to exam season, as the last thing you need to be doing is re-writing notes out!
An essential part of making effective handwritten notes is having the right tools for the job, which means you’ll have to go stationery shopping! (Paperchase is calling your name… and they have a student discount!)
Find a paper size and quality that you like, and get yourself bunch of trustworthy pens, taking into account whether you prefer a fine pen tip (0.5mm) or a thicker ink flow (1.0). Also, use different coloured pens and highlighters to make key terms stand out, and to make your notes look pretty of course…
The most important thing with handwritten notes is to be organised. Always clearly title every piece of paper you’re taking notes on with the date, week and module code. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later when your notes have got muddled up in your bag!
Keep any loose handouts, sheets of paper and any readings you print out neat in a file. It’s wise to get some file dividers and label them with either weeks or modules so that you can easily jump to a section that you need. It might also be worth getting a locker at LSE to keep your files in, rather than carrying heavy mounds of paper back and forth all day.
With typed notes, the key again is organisation. Save your files by their code name, and allocate each module a folder so you can find documents quickly and easily.
You might like to have a ‘master’ document, where you keep all your notes from lectures and readings in the same place, or you may find it easier to have a different document for every topic or week.
Alternatively, you could have one document for lectures and another for readings. Experiment a bit and tailor your system in a way that will make life easier for you in the long run.
Make sure you backup your files regularly onto an external hard-drive or an internet storage system like the cloud. Then, if your laptop breaks or gets stolen, you haven’t lost a year’s worth of notes!
Lastly, when you are typing up your notes for a certain topic, make sure you link the readings and any other useful sources you might have found on the internet in your research. This makes it so much easier to find the right information when it comes to essays, group projects or exam revision.
If you have any other tips and tricks for making your notes more efficient, let us know and we’ll add them to this blog!
At a UGM last year students voted for mandatory consent training and Natasha, your Women’s Officer, has been working collaboratively with the School to help make this happen.
There are two types of training available. There is an online course called Consent Matters, which should be taken by all LSE students (it’s also a pre-requisite for the face to face training).This should only take around 30 minutes and you can sign up via Moodle. The course provides a comprehensive overview of what consent means, how this relates to real life situations and what you can do if you’re worried about someone. There are also face to face workshops, which our Consent Champions are helping to facilitate. These last around 90 minutes and provide space to explore different scenarios in more detail. These sessions are open to all students however we are asking at least one member of each Society and Club committee to attend. The next sessions are:
- 10-11:30, and
You can sign up to both courses here. If you have been affected by any of these issues then you are not required to complete the mandatory online training and can find information on support here.
For more information on why we’re doing this work, take a look at Natasha’s blog post.
Your weekly round-up of what’s happening on-campus and beyond…
Monday 16th October - Inspiring Women Panel
This event brings together incredible women, succeeding in different industries and inspiring in different ways, to share their stories with you. Over the night they will answer a series of questions related to what they do and obstacles they have overcome, followed by a Q&A. Hopefully, you will leave feeling inspired! In collaboration with Women in Politics, Women in Business and the Intersectional Feminist Society.
5.30pm - 8.30pm. 1st Floor Cafè, Saw Swee Hock.
Tuesday 17th October - Film Screening of ‘Hidden Figures’
We’ll be screening ‘Hidden Figures’ in collaboration with the Intersectional Feminist Society - snacks will be provided!
5.30pm - 8.30pm. KSW.G.01.
Wednesday 18th October & Thursday 19th October - Michaelmas Term Elections: Hustings.
This week we will introduce the candidates for all of the positions for our elections! They will outline their manifesto and receive questions from the floor.
There are TWO chances to hear from your candidates:
1. Wednesday, 18th October, 18:00
2. Thursday, 19th October, 18:00
You can submit questions for your candidates in advance by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask them on the night!
6pm, 6th Floor, Saw Swee Hock
Thursday 19th October - Black Students’ Social
A chilled night for black students to meet one another. This social is delivered in collaboration with ACS. There will be snacks!
5.30pm – 8.30pm. 1st Floor Cafè, Saw Swee Hock.
Friday 20th October - University Challenge Trials
Come along to the first round of LSESU’s University Challenge trials. Bring some friends or join a team on the day to be in with a chance of representing LSE on the TV!
Even if you’re not tempted by TV fame, come along for some competitive fun and snacks on a Friday evening. Hosted in collaboration with LSESU’s Quiz Club.
7pm - 9pm. 6th Floor, Saw Swee Hock.
All week - Black Sound
Black Sound tells the story of 100 years of musical creativity and DIY ingenuity. Overcoming the majority status quo of the music industry, Black British music has migrated from the margins to re-master the mainstream. This exhibition celebrates the pioneers that made it happen – the players, the promoters, the producers and the punters that changed Britain’s cultural history.
Until 4th November. Black Cultural Archives (Brixton), free, just turn up!
All week - London Literature Festival.
If you’re a poet and you know it, or if you simply adore reading, you should definitely check out the programme for London Literature Festival. There are some amazing talks, readings, and workshops, featuring big names such as Philip Pullman and Hillary Clinton. It’s literally around the corner from LSE at the Southbank Centre, so perfect for an in-between lectures exploration.
Until 1st November. Prices vary - but there are many free events too. Booking is required for most events.
Wednesday 18th October - Women on Stage.
This talk focuses on women in the theatrical profession throughout history, with particular reference to the London stage, including the likes of Nell Gwynn and the prevalence of cross-dressing.
London Metropolitan Archives, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm
Saturday/ Sunday - Veg Fest
More than 250 animal-free food and drink stalls, plus juice bars, lifestyle advice and more for vegan converts and the vegan-curious.
Olympia London, 11am - 5pm. £8 in advance, £10 on the door (with NUS student card). However, organisers advise that you book ahead as it gets busy.
Saturday/Sunday - Fabric’s 18th Birthday
After what has been a tough few years for Fabric, the world famous nightclub has made it to its 18th birthday, and they’re celebrating in true Fabric-style, with a 30-hour long party.
Various prices, 11pm-5am
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