Study Skills for 6th Format Newcastle University Library

Navigation

Newcastle University

Home » Academic Writing » Notetaking » Bullet points, sub-questions and tables

Bullet points, sub-questions and tables

Bullet points

Bullet points are a linear method of note taking and can work well when doing an initial read of relevant information.

Top tips

Use a new bullet point for each new point and list below the evidence that proves the point.

Why do penguins make great pets?

  • They are black and white
    • Geordie
    • Distinct
  • They are funny
    • Fall over
      • Fall in water
      • Slide
      • Slip on ice
    • Waddle
  • They are sociable
    • Huddle
    • Good parents
    • Migrate together

Sub questions

This is a linear method of note taking, which could incorporate bullet points.  The emphasis is on constantly questioning and digging deeper until you get the answer to the specific question.

Top tips

For each point, make sure you link back to the overall question to stay focussed.

Why do penguins make great pets?

  • They are black and white – why does this make them great pets?
  • They are funny – why does this make them great pets?
  • They are sociable – why does this make them great pets?

Tables

Arguably both a linear and visual way of summarising your notes.  Use the structure of the table to help structure your notes and begin planning your essay by putting the detail part of your notes under the correct key point headings.

Tip: create your table in advance of making your notes to provide structure in your note taking.

Why do penguins make great pets?
Characteristics
Point 1

  • Sociable
    • Huddle together for warmth
Point 2

  • Good parents
    • Share responsibility
    • Dad looks after the baby
Point 3
Appearance
Point 1

  • Black and white
    • Geordies
Point 2 Point 3