When you're sitting in a lecture and the information is coming at you quickly, it's important to know which information to write down so that you can remember it at another time. The key to effective note-taking is to be prepared: complete all pre-readings before the class so that you are already somewhat familiar with the topic and can make knowledgeable notes. Information presented in the lecture that repeats the content of the readings doesn't need to be written down; what you want to capture in your notes are the extra explanations or examples provided by your instructor. For great advice on taking notes in a classroom lecture, as well as information on active listening, please refer to the University of Guelph's Guide for University Learning, and in particular, the section on "Learning from lectures". You'll find links to a PDF or HTML version of the information at the bottom of the first page of the resource.
Information within this guide was adapted from the University of Guelph's "A Guide to University Learning" and from information provided by Roberta Mason, Associate Vice-President, Student and Academic Services, Royal Roads University. These materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.