Tips for Note Takers

You are probably already a mindful note taker, otherwise you would not have volunteered for this opportunity! Please take notes for the student just like you would take them for yourself. If the student receiving notes has any questions or concerns, the DRC will contact you and share the feedback anonymously. If you have not heard any specific feedback, you can assume that your notes have been useful for the student!

Below we also have provided some things to think about as you begin your note taking assignment. The National Deaf Center has an excellent tutorial on note taking. The tutorial is free and covers the skills described below.

  • Always include the class name, lecture date, and page numbers on your notes.
  • If you are scanning handwritten notes, make sure the writing is neat and dark enough to show up. Use pen or dark pencil. 
  • If you are typing notes, use a font size that is at least 12 pt and easily readable (Arial, Calibri, and Sans Serif fonts are preferred).
  • Include:
    • Instructor announcements at the beginning or end of class
    • Anything written on the board or added to projections/PowerPoint slides
    • Numbered or listed items
    • Important/new terms, definitions, and formulas
    • Examples
    • Notes on assignments and papers
    • References to textbook, PowerPoint slide numbers, or handouts
    • Any information that follows keywords or cues such as "finally", "remember", "most important", "main idea", etc.
  • Make sure that notes are clear, well organized and understandable. Notes may be organized in many ways. Use any format that works well for you! Here are some examples:
  • If you use abbreviations, provide a "key" with your notes. You may choose to use common abbreviations listed on our Common Abbreviations document.
  • DO NOT use the notes field in a PowerPoint to record notes. Doing so makes files too large to upload. Rather, you can consider using the outline feature in PowerPoint to copy text into a word document for easier uploading.
  • Be careful not to clutter notes with doodles, stray marks, or information that is not class-related.
  • Review your notes before uploading them to make sure they make sense and include all necessary information.

If you have questions about the information on this page, please contact the Disability Resource Center.

Access Services Coordinator
For Note Taking Services
Phone: 503-725-6504

Check our home page ( for our hours and contact information.