A large group of eighth-grade social studies students (N=-101) received instruction and practice using the Cornell note-taking system and were assigned to one of three note-taking groups or one non-note-taking group. Students were asked to read an article about persuasion and use their assigned note-taking system to take notes at home. A 10-question multiple choice reading comprehension test and questionnaire were given. A one-way ANOVA found a significance in the group’s means and a Tukey HSD found significant differences between each note-taking group and the non-note-taking group. The students’ self-reported feelings of preparedness, their time spent reading and taking notes, overall comments about their experience and their reporting of interruptions were analyzed using constant comparisons and questioning strategies. Two conclusions can be drawn from these results. First, middle school students must take some form of notes to benefit from the encoding process while reading. Secondly, middle school teachers should not fear giving their students reading and note-taking homework assignments. This study provides evidence that supports the idea that the Cornell system can be used to increase student confidence and alleviate the impact interruptions have on students’ working memories while reading at home.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.