The Pen and Paper are Mightier than the Laptop

Carrie Henderson, Staff Writer

 Photo by Carrie Henderson

Photo by Carrie Henderson

It's 9 a.m., time for class. You open your laptop to prepare to take notes, while the student beside you pulls out pen and paper. 

While you are able to type out everything your professor says, your classmate has to decide what to write down, not being able to write as fast as you can type. 

Which is the more efficient way to take notes?

On Feb. 24, Kayla Black and Jo Garrett presented the first lecture in what they said they are hoping to be a series of lectures on note-taking.

During this lecture, they listed different strategies for effective note-taking. Some of their tips include the following:

  • Reading the assignment before class
  • Reviewing notes from the previous class before class
  • Using bulleted points while taking notes
  • Paraphrasing instead of writing what the professor says verbatim
  • Reviewing notes aloud after class

During the lecture, they said that taking notes on paper is more efficient than taking notes using a laptop. Since the pen-and-paper note-taker isn't able to write down what the professor says word-for-word, he has to think about what he is writing down.

Several students said that they prefer taking notes by hand. Ruth Houser said that taking notes on paper is less distracting than taking notes using a laptop.

Kati Weaver, Aubrey Cooke and Matthew Ballard said that that taking notes on papers helps them to better understand what they are writing. Weaver also said it helps her to have something tangible and something she can highlight.

Brooke Satterfield and Autumn Shultz said that it helps them to retain information if they take notes on paper.