Why I Started Taking Notes By Hand

This semester, I am taking a history course with a typical lecture-discussion format. Upon the first day of lecture, the professor announced that her classroom and all discussion sections are technology-free. All notes must be taken by hand.

Boy, you should have seen the looks on everyone’s faces.

Gif from Giphy.com

Most students in college, myself included, take notes on their laptop. It is quicker and easier.

But science shows, as my professor proclaimed, that retention of material is much higher if notes are handwritten. This not only improves focus during class but improves test scores, as well, which benefits both the teacher and student.

The first lecture was tough. I struggled to keep up with the fast-paced lecture, and I often found myself scribbling thoughts rather than full sentences. But the 50-minute class flew by, and before I knew it, I had filled a notebook page with valuable, concise notes.

I was so impressed with my retention that day, that I took this method into my other classes. Lo and behold, the hand-written method worked well in my other classes, too!

So my advice to incoming freshmen is this: start off your college career writing notes by hand. It will build up your work ethic, enhance retention, and make your first of many exams much easier.

Happy note-taking!


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Gerald Perlman

February 5, 2018, 12:54 pm