Your Guide to Making Great Study and Textbook Notes

textbook notes

Taking the right textbook notes could make a big difference in your grades. When you’re just starting out taking college notes, it could take a bit of trial and error and some time to perfect your note-taking skills. Taking notes in your notebook and outside of your textbook will help you keep all of your texts in tip-top shape. 

This is essential for ensuring you can resell your texts once the semester is over or return them to the rental company without any issues. Although you may feel tempted to underline, highlight, or jot notes down in your actual textbook, you can take successful notes without doing so.

In the guide below, you’ll find several helpful tips for taking notes and ensuring you study effectively. Continue reading to get started! 

Focus on Main Ideas and Keywords

When taking notes in class, it’s important to place the majority of your focus on the main ideas and keywords mentioned. Trying to write down everything that’s said in a class by your professor or everything that’s written down by your professor is sometimes unrealistic. This also prevents you from actually listening to what’s being said and taught. 

Instead, try to determine what the main topic or idea for that class is. Pick out key events or keywords being talking about. If the professor is using the textbook for the lecture, then make note of the pages discussed or reviewed for that class. 

If you’re not using the textbook during the lecture, then after class, take a look in your textbook to find the chapters or pages where the same topic is mentioned so you can refer back to it when studying. 

Understand Different Note-Taking Styles

Next, it’s important to understand that there are several different note-taking styles. To determine which one works best for you, go through each different style and find the right one for you. Here’s are a few different note-taking methods to try. 

Cornell Method

In the Cornell method, you’ll create two columns. One column is for “cue” and the other is for “note.” Then, there’s one bottom section, which is for recording notes. This is called the summary section. 

This method is good for extracting main ideas and concepts. 

Outline Method

The outline method is a great way to keep your notes organized by creating a hierarchy. You will need a clear structure of information to create outline notes from. It’s best to use this method when taking notes for your textbook. 

This method could be a bit more difficult when trying to take notes from a professor’s lecture. 

Charting Method

For the charting method, you’ll create a chart to take your notes in. The chart will have rows and columns. When taking notes from information that’s statistical, this method can help greatly. 

It’s best to use this method when taking notes straight from the textbook rather than from an actual lecture. 

Boxing Method

The box method helps you separate different topics from one page of your textbook. The box method makes reviewing your notes simple, which makes it a great option for visual learners. 

Sentence Method

The sentence method is one of the simplest methods of note-taking. If you can write quickly while listening to a lecture, then this could be a good method for you to use. However, this method isn’t great for taking a large number of notes. 

This method isn’t as organized and can be difficult to go back through and review if there’s an extensive amount of them. 

Discover What Works Best For You

Although there are a few note-taking methods that you can try, what’s most important is that you find what works best for you. You can test out a few of the methods listed above or create your own method. As long as you can read your notes and clearly understand them, that method will be what’s most effective for you. 

It might take some trial and error and corrections to your own style before you come up with a customized note-taking style that’s right for you. 

Record Lectures and Review Slides

Because it’s sometimes difficult to take notes while listening to a lecture, a great way to improve your note-taking is to record the lecture while it’s happening. You can then focus on the professor and what’s being taught. After class, you can listen to the recording and take notes from the recording. 

Be sure to ask your professor for permission to record the lecture for note-taking purposes. If they write notes on the board, then you can take a picture of the notes with your cell phone and then review it later to take notes from. Most professors will also post lecture slides online for students to access after the lecture as well. 

Remove Distractions While Taking Textbook Notes

To improve your note-taking skills, it’s always ideal to remove distractions. If you find yourself becoming distracted by your cell phone, people or noises around you, or something else, then you should relocate and place your phone on silent. Keep in mind that everyone studies and takes notes best in different environments. 

Some people need absolute silence while others work better with some background noise. Find an ideal location for you, so you can take your notes efficiently. 

Spare Your Textbook and Save Money

Taking notes outside of your textbook will help you spare your textbook and save you money. Textbook notes can be taken in your notebooks using these helpful tips listed above. When your textbook is left clean and free of any markings, you can then resell it or return it as a rental without the worry of fees or other issues.

Textbookrentals.com is your number one place for cheap textbooks! Save money while in college by comparing textbook prices and choosing to rent textbooks at the cheapest price rather than buy.

Browse our available textbooks to find the cheapest price option today. 


What Are the Benefits of Renting a Textbook?

renting a textbook

As of 2020, the average college student spent over $1200 annually on textbooks. Students taking Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs spent even much more. Considering that students must still pay other fees, the cost of a college education can seem truly astronomical. 

The good news is that there are ways to cut costs on textbooks. In fact, one of the top college tips and tricks at the moment is to opt for a textbook rental service, instead of purchasing the books. 

In today’s post, we outline eight major ways renting a textbook can make your college life easier. Keep reading to learn more.

Renting a Textbook Is Much Cheaper

Arguably the top reason students choose textbook rentals is the low costs involved. Generally, a textbook rental costs a small fraction of the book’s list price. 

You can even save much more by comparing the textbook rental services in your area and choosing the one with the friendliest price. It’s a smart way to keep your college piggy bank full.

There’s a Lot of Flexibility

Student textbook rentals go out of their way to fit into your schedule. They’re flexible when it comes to the period of time you can rent the textbook. Most offer short-term, quarter, and semester rental options.

Thus, if you’re only considering an eight-week course, you don’t need to rent a textbook for the entire semester. You can go for short-term textbook rental and save money. And if you need to keep the book for longer than you’d previously thought, you can always extend your rental.

You Actually Get to Read the Book

Another benefit of renting a textbook is that you have a time limit during which to read the book. This time limit can actually force you to read the textbook. 

When you’ve purchased the book, it’s likely you won’t feel any urgency to read it. After you’ve read only the section you needed for your class, chances are you’ll let the textbook sit on the shelf collecting dust.

Renting a textbook forces you to read as much as you can before the return date arrives.

You Get to Save Space

As soon as the semester is over, chances are you won’t need those textbooks ever again. This is especially the case with general education courses that everyone takes. 

Purchasing textbooks means you’ll have piles of textbooks in your apartment that you no longer need. But when you rent these textbooks, you’ll return them as soon as you’ve finished using them. 

Returning Rental Textbooks Is Simple

Another thing you’re going to love about renting textbooks is that at the end of the rental period, returning them is simple. As soon as the due date approaches, most top textbook rental sites usually send a notification to remind you. 

Once the return date has arrived, you only need to print your pre-paid shipping label and drop the textbooks off at your nearest UPS Store. Most rental sites allow you to use the same box in which you received the book. 

As soon as the book reaches the rental service from which you rented it, you get a notification. It’s that easy.

You Get to Enjoy Free Shipping

Textbook rentals typically have free return shipping. Clients usually receive a shipping label along with the textbook that they can print. 

After you’ve finished using the textbook, all you need is to package it securely and attach the shipping label. You can then drop the book at the post office and the post office takes care of the rest.

You Don’t Need to Stress About Reselling Books

A big challenge with purchasing textbooks is that you don’t always know what to do with them once you’ve finished using them. Of course, you can still opt to resell them, but that’s easier said than done. Writing books listings, finding buyers, and meeting with them can be a hassle.

Besides, most buyers will only give you a tiny fraction of what you originally spent buying the book. That means making huge losses on the books you purchased.

When you choose to rent textbooks, you don’t need to worry about the entire hassle of reselling the book. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about ridiculous buyback prices.  

You Can Always Get the Latest Editions

Textbooks and casebooks are always being revised. A textbook or casebook you bought recently may go out of date, which makes it hardly useful and thus unsellable. That’s why it makes more sense to consider renting textbooks instead.

But that’s not all. The latest edition of a textbook may be quite pricey. By renting the textbook, you don’t need to worry about spending that much money on the book you need. 

You Can Access Rental Digital Books

Another huge benefit of opting for textbook rentals is that most online rental services stock a multitude of digital books. This way, it’s easy for clients to borrow and return books without having to visit the physical store. And when you borrow a digital textbook, there are zero shipping charges, which makes this option even more affordable. 

An added advantage of digital books is that you can fit many of them in your e-reader, which increases portability.

Reap the Benefits of Renting Your College Textbooks

Renting a textbook is the best way to reduce your textbook costs without negatively impacting your college experience.

It also takes the hassle of having to sell textbooks back at the end of the semester, besides affording you a ton of other benefits. It’s no wonder so many students are taking advantage of this route when it comes to accessing the books they need.

Are you interested in affordable textbook rental services? Please, check out our price comparison tool here.