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Why you should be handwriting your notes

News story

With all of the technology available that is supposed to make our lives more efficient, handwriting your notes may seem completely outdated. The truth is putting pen to paper can be great for your overall learning experience. Here are five reasons why you should be handwriting your notes.

  1. Handwriting engages more of the senses

The tactile act of handwriting notes means you are more physically active, making your brain more active and so the learning process is enhanced and information recall is improved.

  1. Handwriting helps maintain focus

When we type notes, it can be possible to lessen our attention on what we’re learning and instead instinctively type words as we see them. When handwriting, words need to be more closely considered before they are written down; this can help with staying both focused and engaged.

  1. Handwriting takes time

This doesn’t sound like a good thing, isn’t fast note-taking the best note-taking? Not always. You can only write so fast and this forces you to reflect on the content you are learning. The information needs to be processed in order to determine what is necessary to write down, it cannot just be copied and pasted.

Handwriting notes creates a deeper level of information processing as you are required to figure out what words are important to write down and remember and which are not within a short time frame.

  1. Handwriting is great for memory

Handwriting notes is a deeper level of information processing than computer note-taking. Writing down your notes in longhand then shorthand then into question form to answer can also be a great way to study and ensure you’re retaining the information, not just reading what’s in front of you.

  1. Handwriting is great for visual learners

Hand drawing diagrams on a piece of paper is normally much quicker than trying to format a diagram on a computer document. Drawing a quick picture next to some information, circling or highlighting keywords or drawing arrows to link ideas is also much faster on paper than on a computer. This is great for visual learning and also means you remain focused on the content and don’t miss anything because you’re formatting a document.

So, next time you’re taking lecture notes or studying for an exam, consider swapping out the computer for good old fashioned pen and paper.

Written by public relations student Taysha Sullivan