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Note Taking in Biology

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Note Taking in Biology

Postby BioCore » Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:20 pm

I was wondering when it comes to taking down notes from the weekly/daily readings, what do some of you do? Do you take notes by hand or do some of you use laptop/Desktop Computers? I have currently started testing out making my notes on my computer, and I have noticed that I am much faster at typing than I am at writing. But that could be because Molecular Biology is very fact and information rich - there is quite a bit of information to take account of.
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Postby mith » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:18 am

I bribe someone to take notes for me. Then I sleep in class and wake up refreshed.
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:50 am

I use a combination of my laptop computer and good-old-fashioned handwriting. In lab, I write everything by hand because my notes frequently involve diagrams and drawings that would be almost impossible to do on my computer in a time-efficient manner. In lecture, I conveniently sit right next to a power outlet and a wireless router, so I plug in my laptop. My professor posts powerpoint notes online, and if possible I try to print these out before class, or at least have the powerpoint open on my computer. That way, I can follow along with the presentation and I can flip back to previous slides if I missed something. I find note-taking on a computer to be much better, since if I have to go back and modify something it's a lot easier when dealing with text than when having to scratch out and rewrite handwriting.
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Re:

Postby BioCore » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:37 pm

alextemplet wrote:...I find note-taking on a computer to be much better, since if I have to go back and modify something it's a lot easier when dealing with text than when having to scratch out and rewrite handwriting.


When you take Lecture Notes, do you also write down everything that was on the lecture slides? Or do you only write down something that the Professor said and was not on the slides, and then you use both during your studies?

I also have one more question, when it comes to readings - have you ever read more than is needed or do you usually stick to what has been assigned and if necessary read anything extra later on?
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:54 pm

In lecture, I usually don't write down anything, preferring to type instead. I type my notes as a more abridged version of the professor's powerpoints. For example, anything that I already know or would easily remember, I wouldn't put in my typed notes; anything that would give me grief, I would type. I print out both the powerpoints and my typed notes and study both.

As for the book, how much I read depends on the class. Some professors require extensive reading; others little or none. I use my textbooks extensively for research papers and the like, but other than that, that depends on the class.
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:48 am

I type in lectures too, though I do not have the same problems as alex(I don't need to plug in my computer, we have wireless internet, and because my college is for lazy people who don't study so much, I usually have 1-2 lectures/day, enough to be able to run on battery). And I generally never type anything that was in the slides, unless it is really really important.

PS: topic moved. Why the heck did you post this to molecular biology?
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Postby alextemplet » Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:10 pm

I could run my computer on battery for 3.5 hours if I had to, but I prefer to plug it in as much as possible. Batteries in my experience can be unreliable at the worst possible times, so I try not to push my luck with it. Our entire campus has a wireless network, but it was built by the lowest bidder so the farther away you move from a router, the less reliable it becomes. Hence my strategy of sitting as close to it as possible.
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Postby wannabeaditz » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:14 pm

i handwrite my notes as it i hate my laptop very much
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:38 pm

from what I understand my college has a pretty crappy wireless network compared to other colleges, but fortunately I never have any problems with signal, just that its speed is not great(which is fine with me, I don't download anything off the internet anyway). What do you mean batteries can be unreliable? It won't suddenly die, will it? PS: I don't trust computers anyway, that's I always have a notebook in my backpack, just in case...
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:23 am

I'll admit that statement was based partly on my own paranoia and inherent distrust of anything technological. Yes, I am worried about the battery suddenly dying without warning. This happened to me once (not with my current laptop) and since then I've been a bit paranoid about it. That's why I like to plug mine in whenever possible. In order to achieve maximum battery life, it helps to turn off the computer's wireless antenna, speakers (not required in class anyway), and dim the screen a bit. If your operating system allows you to clock-down your processor (which admittedly slows performance), you can stretch your battery even further. Wireless isn't really necessary for note-taking, but I have found in some classes that it is helpful to be able to look something up online during the lecture. For example, if the professor moves to a new chapter of powerpoint notes halfway through class, I can usually get it online during class if I haven't printed it out yet.

The wireless network here is fast enough; the problem is that it can sometimes take twenty minutes to establish a connection. Very annoying, that can be, if what you're doing requires internet access.
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Re: Note Taking in Biology

Postby MichaelXY » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:40 am

I find note taking distracting, I just write down keywords, or make an outline.
I usually write down good notes while I am studying after class.
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:11 pm

I don't have the memory to pull that off. If I don't write it down during class, I'm sure to forget it later.
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