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Take Note: Five Lessons for Note-Taking Fun


A survey of 43,000 high school students found that 59 percent of them engaged in cheating on a test and one-third plagiarized content they found on the Internet. Another survey found that 58 percent of high schoolers committed plagiarism. These startling statistics indicate that cheating and plagiarism is still a pervasive problem. As teachers, however, we might be able to reverse that trend by teaching our students to take good notes. Included: Five fun lessons that teach needed note-taking skills.

Students have always copied text into their research papers verbatim. Some have plagiarized entire term papers. It seems, however, that the issues of copying and plagiarism are getting more notice now than ever. With the advent of the Internet, students seem to be more tempted than ever to "borrow" sentences, paragraphs, and entire pages.

Could it be that this apparent spike in cheating has a very basic root cause? Could it be that students do not know how to take notes, how to summarize or paraphrase text, or how to do a research paper correctly? Could it be that student cheating is actually a reflection of the need for patient teaching of those skills?

Education World offers five simple lessons to help you instruct students and to provide practice in the skills of note taking and the associated skills of summarizing and paraphrasing.


Click each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Appropriate grade levels for each lesson appear in parentheses.)

The Long and Short of It: Summarizing Important Details
A brief Amelia Earhart biography is used to teach the skill of summarizing. (Grades 3-12)

Incredible Shrinking Notes
A fun 3-step process helps students "boil down" note taking. (Grades 3-12)

Note Taking By Crayon
Use crayons or markers to teach note-taking skills. (Grades 3-12)

Graphic Organizer: Research Note Taking Made Easy
This graphic organizer helps students gather research notes for writing. (Grades K-8)

Declaration of Independence From Plagiarism
Paraphrase the Declaration of Independence into modern English. (Grades 3-12)


From the
Ed World Archive

Teaching Study Skills: Ideas That Work!
Three educators share their tips and tricks to improve study skills!

I Was There When High School Research Papers Came Alive!
English teacher Ernie Beachey talks about his creative research paper project.

Put an End to Plagiarism in Your Classroom
A printable Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.

Cheating in the Classroom: How to Prevent It (and How to Handle It If It Happens)
Classroom management expert Howard Seeman offers easy-to-apply advice.

What Can We Do to Curb Student Cheating?
How can teachers combat cheating? Included: Teacher-tested tips.

I Read It on the Internet! -- Teaching About Web Literacy
Teach your kids which Web sites to trust.

Who Said That? How to Cite Electronic Resources
Four mini style guides students can save -- and use!


Last updated on 04/20/2017