IAS Papers : Method of Making Notes

        There are different methods of making notes and one should decide which method suits you the best. There are two types of making notes, one is the LINEAR NOTES and the other PATTERN NOTES.

Linear Notes

        Let us start with Linear notes first, it is a method in which you condense the material you have read using headings and sub headings and jotting down the most important points. This method works best when making notes from a book where the material is already properly organised. But one disadvantage of this method is that you end up copying a lot of material from the book which defeats the very purpose of condensing.

The right way to use this method is to use loose sheets of paper instead of an exercise book since it is easier to keep adding information. It is a good idea to leave space on each sheet of paper for additional information. Another way to make your notes more interesting is to use colors, block letters, making boxes and highlighting as and when necessary. All this will immediately draw our attention to the actual contents of our notes and make it more clear and comprehensible.

Pattern Notes

        We now come to Pattern Notes. For this we have to begin the topic at the centre of the page. Each line radiating from it represents a branch of the main idea. Each point is written as briefly as possible using a key word or a phrase. It is a better method to adopt because it is more flexible than making Linear notes. One can add extra information to it at any point without any problem. Second
advantage is that we can see the whole pattern at one go without actually
turning the pages. Thirdly we can indicate the links between different topics
more easily than we can do in a linear method. Another advantage of pattern
notes is that it is exceptionally useful when making notes from memory for
revision as you keep jotting down points as and when they occur to you. This
makes it easier to revise for exams and writing out essays as only brief key
words are used. Lastly, it is easier to remember as notes is made in a shape

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