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Preparing for Class

Create a structure for every class meeting. 

Material covered in a lecture will make more sense to you if you can make connections to the structure and patterns of the course as you take notes. To prepare for class, follow these strategies.

  • At the very least, prepare for class by reading the assigned readings and thinking about the key ideas.

  • You will get even more out of class if you come to class prepared with an outline of the main ideas you anticipate the instructor will cover.

  • If the instructor provides an outline or PowerPoint slides before class, print them and use them to organize your notes. If you are going to follow along on your computer, download the slides to your hard drive. You can use the note-taking field in PowerPoint to add your notes.

  • If the instructor does not provide a structure, develop one from the readings, course syllabus, and previous lectures. Do not simply read through the headings in the text for suggestions of the main ideas. Develop a written outline of the main ideas that you anticipate. If you find yourself unable to develop an outline of the main ideas, talk to the professor for his or her perspective on the course structure.