Send to

Choose Destination
Contemp Educ Psychol. 1999 Jan;24(1):1-20.

Review and Process Effects of Spontaneous Note-Taking on Text Comprehension.

Author information

University of Helsinki, Finland


This study examines how quantitative and qualitative differences in spontaneously taken notes are related to text comprehension in combination with reviewing or not reviewing previously made notes. High school graduates (N = 226) were allowed to take notes in any way they desired while reading a philosophical text. Approximately half the participants were told that they could review their notes during writing tasks designed to measure the ability to define, compare, and evaluate text content. The other half of the participants answered the subsequent questions without their notes. The process of taking notes was rated on the basis of note quality and quantity. The results revealed significant review and process effects in spontaneous note-taking. Reviewing the notes during essay-writing generally resulted in good performance in an exam calling for deep-level text comprehension. However, this review effect was mainly limited to detailed learning instead of making one's own inferences. Results pertaining to note quality indicated that the participants who summarized the content of the text resulted in better performance in all tasks in comparison with those who produced notes following the text order or verbatim notes. The amount of note-taking was also positively related to text comprehension. The discussion focuses upon the situational appropriateness of note-taking effects that pose challenges to educators.


Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center