Taking Lecture Notes

During lecture, I will display Powerpoint slides that describe the material we cover. In order to study for the course effectively, you will need to take notes on what is said in class. The trick is to write down only enough to remind you of the ideas that we explore, their logical structure, and the examples used to illustrate them. Of course, it doesn’t make sense for you to attempt to write down all the spoken words—you are not court stenographers.

For your convenience, I will post outlines of the slides in pdf files on this website in advance of the corresponding lectures. If you wish, you may print the outlines and bring them with you to class and write your class notes on them. Or you may use a laptop or a tablet computer with a pdf editor for taking class notes.

If your notes aren’t so great, you may want to borrow notes from your classmates and copy them. (This is NOT cheating.) Unfortunately, studying from other people’s notes is never as effective as studying from your own. Finally, never try to memorize your notes; instead, use them to help you think things through.