Do Cornell Students Still Use the Cornell Note-Taking System?

During WWII, a colonel from Alaska asked Prof. Emeritus Walter J. Pauk to draft a brief guide on how to teach his soldiers to read and study effectively for their correspondence courses. The guide soon evolved into Pauk’s 1962 best-selling book, How to Study in College, and attracted international acclaim for its revolutionary study technique: the Cornell Note-Taking System. The Cornell Note-Taking System involves writing questions in the margin to summarize large chunks of information. The learning system relies on a revision technique called “recitation,” where students answer the questions, then without looking at their notes, recall what they’ve learnt. “By relating newly learned conceptual material that is stored in the left brain, to a visualized object stored in the right brain, you can efficiently affect long-term memory,” Pauk said in a 1998 interview with the Journal of Developmental Education.