Learning Skills
- Speaking vs writing
- Strategies for academic success
- Academic skills
- Language skills
- Notetaking
- Abbrev & Symbols
- Understanding Lectures and Notetaking
- Academic Writing
- Academic Essay
- Understanding Assignments




  • When taking notes, do not write every word
  • Write only the most important or key words
  • Most often key words are nouns, verbs, and adjectives
  • Shorten words and use symbols as much as possible
  • For example, use = instead of equals or agreement, // instead of parallel
  • Indent to show the connection between main ideas and specific details.
  • Write main headings or topics next to the left margin
  • Indent (begin writing a few spaces to the right) as information becomes more specific
  • Your notes should have three to four levels of indentation



It is essential that you record the details of the original source (book/paper/journal/web site)WHERE you get information from. You will need to give these details when you reference in your essay and bibliography.


Public and scientific interest in the question of apes' ability to use language first soared 15 years ago when Washoe, a chimpanzee raised like a human child by R. Allen Gardner and Beatrice Gardner of the University of Nevada, learned to make hand signs for many words and even seemed to be making short sentences.
Since then researchers have taught many chimpanzees and a few gorillas and orangutans to talk using the sign language of deaf humans, plastic chips, or like Kanzi, keyboard symbols. Washoe, Sarah, a chimpanzee trained by David Premack of the University of Pennsylvania, and Koko, a gorilla trained by the psychologist Francine Patterson, became media stars.

Note card summarizing the original source:

        Types of Languages			Eckholm, Pygmy
The ape experiments began about 20 years ago with Washoe, who learned 
sign language.  In later experiments some apes learned to communicate 
using plastic chips or symbols on a keyboard. (p.B7)

Note card paraphrasing the original source:

        Washoe			Eckholm, Pygmy
A chimpanzee named Washoe, trained 20 years ago by U. of Nevada 
professors R. Allen and B. Gardner, learned words in the sign language 
of the deaf and many even have created short sentences. (p. B7)

For books, you will require the following bibliographic information:
Call number
All authors; any editors or translators
Title and subtitle
Edition (if not the first)
Publishing information: city, publishing company, 
                    and date 

Example: 	McArthur, Tom (1984) The Written Word: A course in 
                    controlled composition. Book 2. Oxford, Oxford University Press,
For periodical articles, you will need this information:

All authors 
Title and subtitle of the article
Title of the journal, newspaper, or magazine
Date and page numbers
Volume and issue numbers

Example: 	Raimes, A. (1987) Why write? From purpose to pedagogy. 
                        English Teaching Forum, 25(4), 36-41, 55.

NOTE: The following strategies can be helpful in the classroom situation:
               Ask questions,
               Ask for outlines
               Ask for vocabulary 
               Ask for elaboration
  • inappropriate information is selected
  • notes are not readable in year's time
  • sources are not recorded
  • original text is copied without paraphrasing, summarizing or quoting
  • proper references are not recorded
  • symbols are not used and notes are not clear
  • organisation of the notes prevent the reader from adding additional information at a later time

University of Westminster
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