Using Abbreviations To Write Notes Quickly

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Many of the questions you find on class tests will be based upon the information your teachers orally present in class. Therefore, you need to write class notes that completely and accurately include the most important information presented by your teachers. This is hard to do because your teachers can talk faster than you can write.

It would be nice if your teachers talked slower so that you could keep up with what they are saying as you write your notes. This is not realistic though. It is up to you to write more quickly. One way to do this is to write abbreviations for words. An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word used when writing to represent the complete word. You must be able to recognize the complete word from its abbreviation.

Many words have a commonly used abbreviation. Here are some examples of words that have a common abbreviation:

Word Abbreviation Word Abbreviation
department dept package pkg
introduction intro negative neg
junior jr magazine mag
mathematics math foot ft
weight wt highway hwy

You can form your own abbreviation for just about any word. Here are three ways you can do this.

1. Write just the beginning of a long word. Here are some examples of long words that have been abbreviated by writing just the beginning of the word:

Word Abbreviation Word Abbreviation
different diff feminine fem
incorporated inc population pop
elementary elem ambiguous ambig
molecular molec separate sep
division div hippopotamus hippo

2. Leave out the vowels when writing a word. Here are some examples of words that have been abbreviated by leaving out the vowels when writing the word:

Word Abbreviation Word Abbreviation
century cntry point pnt
mountain mntn school schl
reason rsn clean cln
popular pplr teacher tchr
quality qlty progress prgrss

3. For words that have just one syllable, write just the first and last letter of the word. Here are some examples of words that have been abbreviated by writing just the first and last letter of the word:

Word Abbreviation Word Abbreviation
quart qt land ld
tick tk round rd
girl gl pack pk
night nt field fd
link lk heart ht

Use common abbreviations of words whenever you recognize them. For other words, form abbreviations by using one of the three ways you just learned. Use the way that best fits the word for which you are writing an abbreviation. Do not try to abbreviate every word you write in your notes. Abbreviate those words that are important and for which you can quickly form an abbreviation. REMEMBER: YOU MUST BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE COMPLETE WORD FROM ITS ABBREVIATION. Knowing the context in which you wrote the word will help you recognize the complete word from its abbreviation.

Using abbreviations for words will help you take good notes more quickly. Having good notes will help you do better on tests.


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