Study suggestions - Lectures not from book...

Students General Students


Well we have started our 2nd term in Nursing school - wahoo!!!! Everyone in my class passed last term and we have 4 people that have joined our class.

Our teacher was going through lecture tonight and someone asked if she was following the book, she let us know that the lectures do not come from the book - that is something different. So we need to know the book as a foundation and then the lecture will build on it.

Any suggestions for note taking? I will be reading the assignments as scheduled, but am wondering what suggestions you may have for maximizing the notetaking and understanding from both book and lecture.

I've never tape recorded lectures before but will probably do that this term to try it out.


113 Posts

If the lecturer is expanding on ideas that are presented in the book, then you need some sort of note-system that will allow you to 1) Take notes from your assigned reading and then 2) Add to those notes in lecture, when your tutor is expanding on them.

Using a 'normal' style of written notes can be a problem, because anything you need to add on to those notes has to be either squeezed in the margins, or added on at the end - where they may be pages away from the original subject matter. The ideal solution would be to use Mind Maps (do a search for 'Tony Buzan' or 'MindMaps' for more information), as these allow you to add notes to existing notes without the problems incurred with linear notes.

An alternative would be to use a version of the half-page system, where you divide every page in half and write your original (text book) notes just on one half of the paper, then you can add your lecturers notes to the other half, making sure that they lie 'next-door' to the relevant text-book notes. Use a red pen to jot down keywords in the margin, so that you can find specific subjects in your notes easily. Another method is to use large post-it notes, write the lecturers additions on them, then stick them on the relevant pages of your text book (although they do have a habit of getting lost, and may not be big enough for all the information you need to add, it can also be quite expensive!).

Hope these ideas help,


Indy, LPN, LVN

1,444 Posts

Specializes in ICU, telemetry, LTAC.

One expansion of the half page system is to consistently take your book notes on the back side of the paper in your notebook. (whether spiral or bound, works just fine) When you get to class, open notes, take lecture notes on the front side opposite wherever it needs to be. Draw arrows if you have to. It will be readable when you're done.

klone, MSN, RN

14,696 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

I wonder if that's pretty common. We were told that the textbooks are mainly just for reference, and that most test material will come straight from lectures/presentations.

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