Free Note Summarizer for Students
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How it works
If you need to shorten your lecture notes or any other piece, try our free note summarizer for students. Make a summary in three simple steps:
Make the note-taking process easier with our note summarizer!
🔤 Note-Taking: The Basics
Without exaggeration, in-class note-taking builds your path toward academic success:
- It concentrates your brain and ensures a better understanding of the studied concepts;
- It also improves your active listening skills, comprehension, and retention.
- After class, notes help you to review the class material to prepare for the next session or exam.
Meanwhile, the quality of note-taking does matter. Efficient and concise notes save time and energy, while disorganized ones distract you from listening and take much longer to decipher.
Taking notes during online lectures eliminates the need to pause and rewatch large chunks of an educational video. They provide an excellent basis for creating paper outlines and structuring the material. But sometimes, you will need a note summarizer to condense your writing. Let’s find out why.
What Is Note Taking?
Note-taking is a practical tool that helps you extract the meaning from a book or lecture. While reading or listening to another person’s information, write down the essentials. The key to note-taking is skipping unnecessary details and structuring the material before writing it.
Why Is Note Taking Important?
Note-taking is important because it enhances your reading and listening skills. It trains your memory and augments the quality and quantity of information you memorize. It also focuses your attention and makes listening to the lecture more efficient. Finally, noting the material is a proactive way to attend a class.
How to Summarize Lecture Notes?
Most people have their individual note summarizer style. In most cases, they would distribute the critical information under headings and bullet points. We recommend you try our text compactor to accelerate and automate the process. The tool is available online for free.
How Many Styles of Note Taking Are There?
- Lists require a lot of writing but track the ideas in their sequential presenting;
- Concept maps are the best at showing relationships between ideas, placing them in circles;
- The charting method divides a lecture into categories, dedicating a table column to each of them;
- Outlines work only when the presented material is well-organized;
- The Cornell method uses two columns and any combination of the above styles.
🚀 3 Steps to Boost Your Note-Taking Effectiveness
How do you summarize a text so that none of the critical facts are lost and the result is reader-friendly and well-organized? Read on to learn the most practical tips.
Step #1: Prepare Well
Proper preparation brings half of the success. Before the class starts, go through the following checklist:
- Keep your notes neat and organized to find the necessary information more quickly;
- Include the class name and date if you use the same notebook for different classes;
- Store all notes for one discipline in one space and observe the chronological order;
- Familiarize yourself with the textbook or reading assignments;
- Track the topic structure;
- Identify the central ideas and terms that will be discussed in the lecture;
- Consult your course syllabus to know the focus of the class;
- Review your notes from the previous sessions to situate the new information you will learn in the upcoming class.
Step #2: Choose the Format
|Sentence Format||The method is slightly more organized than writing in paragraphs. Note each new idea from the red line and number them. Its advantage is that you write down almost everything you hear. The drawback is that notes taken in such a way usually require heavy editing or converting into one of the formats described below.|
|Mapping Format||This graphic format relates each fact to every other attribute. Thus, every notion or idea gets its place on the general map. Add details on sticky notes or flash cards. The format enhances your proactive listening and critical thinking. Meanwhile, the notes taken by this method are the most concise and won’t do for fact-saturated lectures.|
|Charting Format||The method requires that you determine the categories the lecture will cover beforehand. Draw a table in your notebook and label the headings. Record the terms, facts, and ideas in the appropriate column while the lecture is being read. The method reduces the required amount of writing and helps to structure disorganized information (e.g., dialogues, interviews, etc.). It also improves your understanding of comparisons and relationships.|
|Outlining Format||This is the best choice for STEM subjects. The most general information (headings) starts on the left, and each more specific section starts indented with spaces to the right. Markings or numbering is not obligatory since indenting already shows the hierarchy. Still, the format requires more attention to organization and may not work for fast or poorly structured lectures.|
|Cornell Format||The method consists in writing your notes in the main space of the page. Use the left margin to label each detail with a cue. When the lecturer moves on to a new point, skip a line or two to divide the thoughts. The benefit is that you can cover the right column with a piece of paper and review the notes by the cues. Besides, you can introduce any other four formats into the main space of noting.|
Step #3: Understand What Is Worth Noting
Here are some examples for distinguishing the essentials in a lecture:
- An introduction is always a summary of the main points. Be extra attentive in the beginning.
- Lecturers do half of the job for you. Listen for the phrases “We will cover five main points…” / “To sum up…” / “This notion falls into three categories…”
- Whenever you hear repeated words, watch out! Something important is being told.
- The same counts for non-verbal cues (pointing or vocal emphasis).
- Final remarks are also a powerful notes summarizer. Look through the notes while listening to the conclusion and check if you have recorded everything.
💡 Summarizing Your Notes: Tips & Ideas
Why would someone rewrite their in-class notes? If you ask yourself this question, it means you’ve never done that before. Because otherwise, you would know the answer.
Summary notes are like cream skimmed from the fresh milk. No in-class note-taking is perfect, and even the best students record information that can be left out. This method eliminates all the drawbacks of conventional notes, collecting the most critical facts from them, and has five benefits:
- It saves your time while preparing for exams;
- It enhances your understanding of the material;
- It is more personalized to your needs than any lecture could be;
- It will never become outdated;
- It is done in a text editor, enabling unlimited editing.
A notes summarizer skill can be compared to construction works. Try yourself as an engineer:
Build the frame.
- Open a new document and write the lesson title, date, and professor’s name.
- Make a multi-level numbered list of the topics covered in the lecture (just like the one you’re reading now).
- Use headings and subheadings for the above two steps.
Attach the walls and roof.
- Open all the supporting materials (notes, books, PowerPoints, handouts) that went with the lecture.
- Extract the essentials and rephrase the wording to make them more straightforward.
- Paste them under the respective headings.
No house is built in one day.
- Don’t postpone summarizing your notes till the end of the semester.
- Dedicate an hour after each lecture to cope with the task. It will grow to be a habit very soon!
- Edit the summary each time you receive a new PowerPoint file or any other material from the teacher.
- Read the notes before every class to make the most of it!
Make it unique.
- Add your own decorations, i.e., thoughts and considerations. You will thank yourself while writing an essay or brainstorming a research paper topic.
- Use the margins for commentaries, as most text editors have this feature.
- Don’t forget to note anything that might help you memorize the material.