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Brieanna W.
PhD Student and Adjunct Instructor
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Study Skills
TutorMe
Question:

I have a professor who talks very fast, and this is my first time taking notes in a college course! When I get to review my notes, I can't make sense of them and then I do not do well on my exams. What can I do to change my note taking to get the best out of this class? (Note: in the scenario of this question, the actual course doesn't matter!)

Brieanna W.
Answer:

When a professor talks faster than you can record, the first thing you might want to consider is: Are you trying to write down every word your professor is saying? If you are, you might be focusing too much energy on writing down everything being said (thus not actually absorbing any of the material in class) and not enough on active listening. Either way, adopting a note taking "style" will be an essential study tool for your exams. Try separating your notes (on each sheet of paper) into three sections: key words/concepts, notes from the lecture, and summary. For example: on the left hand side of the paper jot down key words/concepts and on the right, leave a larger middle section for taking notes (more on this in a moment). At the bottom, write a summary of each lecture. This is a version of the Cornell system for note taking. In order to gather as much of the lecture as possible, with a fast speaking professor, develop an abbreviation system that, most importantly, you will remember and will be consistent across all your notes.

Sociology
TutorMe
Question:

Who are consider to be the founding fathers of sociology?

Brieanna W.
Answer:

Typically, most introductory textbooks name Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx as the founding fathers of sociology.

English
TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between saying, "I am going to" and "I will"?

Brieanna W.
Answer:

This is a great question involving the future tense. You should use "going to" when a decision has already been made. For example, you may say to a friend, "I am going to drive to school next week". There are two situations in which you might use "will": when expressing/making a spontaneous decision and/or when expressing uncertainty or guessing. Examples: "I'll get it!" "Maybe my check will come early this week."

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