It’s Study Time! How to Take Notes From a Textbook the Right Way

how to take notes from a textbook

Did you know that you must learn how to take notes from a textbook the right way if you want to soak up all of the information? Although we wish it weren’t true, there is a right and wrong way to take notes. If you’re looking to ace that up and coming test, then you’ll need to know how to take notes from your textbook the right way.

If you weren’t taught in high school the proper way to take notes, then college might become overwhelming as many of your courses will require you to take well-written notes. Luckily, we’re here to help! Although not everyone takes notes the same way or has the same style of learning and remembering key facts, there are a few tips that everyone should follow when taking notes.

Continue reading below for several ways to ensure that you’re taking notes correctly!

Preview Chapters

The first thing that you’ll want to do is preview the chapters that you’ll be taking notes on. What is your test or quiz going to be on? Preview those chapters by flipping through the pages and looking at the chapter headings and subheadings. 

Pay attention to the words in bold or underline. All of this information is essential if you want to grasp a general idea of what you’re about to read. Be sure to look at all of the pictures, captions, and other information such as charts or graphs. 

These are all just as important as the headings and vocabulary words and are often overlooked, yet they can be a big factor in helping you understand the text. When you get to the end of the text, there will most likely be a section of questions to see what you learned. 

Pay attention to these questions as these are the main concepts that you should pick up on during your read. Know what the questions are ahead of time and you should have no problem answering them after reading the text.

Create an Outline

You should now create an outline. Take all of those important concepts that you pulled from your review and use them as the bones of your outline. There are a few different ways to create an outline, so be sure to find a way that works best for you. 

You can use the Cornell notes way of outlining or any other form of outlining that helps you stay organized the best. As you read through each section of your text, fill in the key information under it’s heading in your outline. After you finish reading a section, a good tip is to close your text and then pull information from your memory.

Filling out your outline from your memory is a great way to help you remember that information when it’s test time. Open the text back up and be sure to correct any errors you may have made and fill in any missing information as well. All bolded or underlined words for that section should be in your notes.

When done, continue on to the next section and repeat.

Break Down Each Section

Be sure to read one section at a time. You don’t want to read an entire chapter and then go back and try to remember what was most important in each section. Reading the entire chapter at once without breaking it down into section note taking also makes it harder to store all of the valuable information in your memory. 

If you read section by section, taking notes for each as you go, you’ll grasp the concept of each section helping you understand the next section even more. 

Use Visuals and Colors as Needed

If you hear the word outline and you immediately think, “boring,” then you’re in for a treat. Just because you’re creating an outline doesn’t mean it has to be dull. As mentioned before, everyone learns in a different way and the way you take notes should work well for you.

If you learn best by looking at visuals or color-coordinated notes, then go for it. Never hesitate to add visuals into your outlines such as charts, graphs, or different highlighter colors. 

Do keep in mind that when using highlighters, you want to only highlight the keywords from your notes. When using different colors, be sure that each color stands for a specific meaning such as yellow is for vocabulary words and pink is for important people.

Pull Important Details

Always pull the important details when taking notes. Writing down too much can actually set you back. You only want to take the most important information from the text for your notes. 

You’ll need to find a balance between taking too little and too many notes. To help find this balance, only focus on the information that you think is essential for passing your test. 

Use Annotations

Annotations are a wonderful way to help you take great notes. Your annotations can be written on the side of your notes or on sticky notes that are then stuck to the top of your notes. Your annotations can include different connections that you made between two concepts while reading, questions you want to ask your professor, or something else. 

You Now Know How to Take Notes from a Textbook!

After reading through this guide, we now hope that you know how to take notes from a textbook! Remember, you need to do what works best for you, so if something doesn’t seem to be helping you remember, then switch it up! Just keep these tips in mind to guide you along the way!

In need of a few textbooks? Click here to see how you can rent textbooks for cheap!

Top Reasons Why Half Priced Textbook Rentals Fly Off The Shelf

half priced textbook

On average, college students of all types spend well over $1000 on their school books and supplies. When added onto all of the other expenses students pay throughout their studies, this is money most can’t spare.

But what else is a student to do? They need their books.

That’s where half-priced textbook rentals come to the rescue. With the help of these rentals, students won’t struggle as much to make ends meet. They’ll get the books they need without sacrificing anything else.

If you’ve never heard of textbook rentals before, keep reading. We’ll explain all the different ways they help students everywhere.

Same Quality for a Fraction of the Cost

The biggest concern with school books is the price. And the problem is that these prices continue to rise every year. Most students struggle to keep up with these rising costs.

That’s why discount textbooks are such a great asset to any student. Regardless of where you’re attending or how long you’ve been at it, rentals are the best way to save a big chunk of money.

Even though they’re rentals, they’re kept at a high-quality. It’ll be much like having a brand new book, but for a fraction of the price.

It’s the perfect solution for anyone who only needs a book for a short while.

Pick the Best Match For You

When it’s time to find the textbooks you need, it’s not uncommon for shops nearby to only have one copy or one edition. If you use an online rental company, you have a much wider search available to you.

Choose between different editions or whether the book is new or used. Most places keep their books as pristine as possible but some sell books with defects. If you don’t mind a bit of highlighter on the pages, you’ll get yourself the books at an even cheaper price.

There are also ways to search for books with or without online access codes, depending on your needs. Not all classes require an access code for a book, so find the right rental place to get the kind you need.

Don’t forget to check with the professor beforehand to ensure that you don’t get the wrong type.

Stop Keeping Books You No Longer Need

Depending on the courses you take, your textbook collection may grow more and more each semester. If you’re buying the books, there’s a good possibility you’ve got entire storage spaces dedicated to books you no longer need.

If you rent your books instead, you’ll never have unnecessary books taking up necessary space again. Those dorms aren’t very big after all, so there’s no need to use up valuable space.

On the other hand, you might find that you need the book for longer than you anticipated. Most rental companies cover this possibility as well.

Simple Returns After Use

When the semester is over and you’re done with your book, returning the book to the rental place is often an easy task. Print out the proper return label, seal it in a protective box, and ship the book back to the original company. It’s as simple as that.

The best part is that most companies help with the shipping costs, making the entire process free as well.

No Need to Worry About Selling

Once you’re done with a specific book, most of us want to try to sell the book to make up for the initial expense. But going through the selling process takes a lot of time. And there’s never any guarantee that you’ll find a buyer at all.

You may remain stuck with books you no longer need and a large hole in your bank account. No student with limited funds wants to deal with that kind of situation.

When you rent books, you’ll never have to worry about this process again. Instead of trying to find someone to buy your books, you’ll return the books straight to the company.

True, you won’t make any money in the exchange. But because rentals cost a fraction of a new textbook, it’s very possible you’ll end up with more money instead.

Find All Your Books in One Place

Finding the right books in physical shops is often a chore. Where one shop sells one course’s books, they might not have any of the other books you need.

With rental companies, you’ll have the possibility to search for all of your books in one place all from the comfort of your residence. It makes running around town trying to find that one last book far less of a chore.

To make the search even easier for you, make sure to note down the ISBN for each of your books. This makes the searching process a breeze, though the title and author name often are enough to find what you need.

Fast Delivery

The handy thing about physical shops is that you leave with your books in hand. If you’re on a time crunch, it might be a necessary decision.

But unlike most other online shops, textbook rental companies understand the urgency and need for the books they rent. They know that you need your books as soon as possible. They work hard to ensure that those books end up on your doorstep without any delays.

Shipping costs are not often too expensive either, keeping you well within your budget. Most offer free shipping if you meet a certain quota—an easy thing to achieve when you’re renting all your books for the semester in one go.

A Half-Priced Textbook Rental Saves You More than Money

With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see how half-priced textbook rentals help students in more than only monetary ways. The entire exchange is far more simplistic and less stressful. And if there’s one thing all students need less of, it’s stress.

Plus, rentals leave students free to focus on their studies rather than worrying about the status of their books.

If you find yourself struggling with textbooks and want a great alternative, browse our textbook rentals today!