PROBLEM SOLVING TIPS          CORNELL NOTES             Interactive Periodic Table

General Chemistry Tutorial Websites                

Chemistry Coach
I think it is safe to say this is the most comprehensive high school chemistry website on the World Wide Web.  You really have to see it to believe it.

WebElements Periodic Table

NOVA: Atom Builder

Other Great Chemistry-Related Websites


Pre-University Chemistry Course
This website is based on the book "Chemistry, Matter and the Universe" by Richard E. Dickerson and Irving Geis and provides very good graphical representations of chemical concepts.


The Particle Adventure
This is an incredible site that gives great explanations about fundamental particles and forces.


Chemistry Study Cards
This is a collection of study cards for AP and General Chemistry.  Each page has four cards saved as an Adobe Acrobat file.




Taking Notes in Science Class

The Cornell method of note taking offers several advantages. It results in more organized notes. It allows students to quickly and identify key words and key concepts from a lecture. The notes can easily be used as a study guide for exam preparation. The arrangement of information is aesthetically pleasing and easy to scan, making it easy to locate particular pieces of information. The strategy may be adapted to a number of presentation formats.

Directions for using the Cornell method are as follows.

  1. Divide the paper
    • Use loose leaf notebook paper and write on one side of the page only.
    • Divide the paper vertically by drawing a line from top to bottom about 2" from the left side of the page.
  2. Documentation
    • Write the following information at the top of each page: student name, course, date, and page number.
  3. Record notes
    • During lecture, record the main ideas and concepts on the right side of the page. This is the notes column.
    • Rephrase the information in your own words before writing it down.
    • Skip one line between ideas and several lines between topics.
    • Avoid writing in complete sentences; use symbols and abbreviations instead.
  4. Review and Clarify
    • As soon after class as possible, review the notes in the right column and clarify any ambiguous information.
    • Compare the information with the book and/or other students' notes.
    • Then pull the main ideas, concepts, terms, places, dates, and people from the right column and record them in the left-hand recall column.
  5. Summarize
    • Prepare a summary of the lecture material and record it at the end of the notes.
    • The summary may be in sentences or short phrases. It should include only the main ideas from the lecture.
  6. Study
    • Use both sections of the notes to prepare for quizzes and exams.

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Format for Cornell style notes






 ----------------2 1/2”-----------

In this section:

Reduce ideas and facts to concise jottings and  summaries as cues for  Reciting, Reviewing,  and Reflecting.




In this section:

 Record the lecture as fully and as meaningfully as possible.

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The format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R's of note-taking. Here they are:

 1. Record.  During the lecture, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly.

 2. Reduce.  As soon after as possible, summarize  these ideas and facts concisely in the Recall Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory. Also, it is a way of preparing for examinations gradually and well ahead of time.

 3. Recite.  Now cover the column, using only your jottings in the Recall Column as cues or "flags" to help you recall, say over facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words and with as much appreciation of the meaning as you can. Then, uncovering your notes, verify what you have said. This procedure helps to transfer the facts and ideas of your long term memory.

4. Reflect.  Reflective students distill their opinions from their notes. They make such opinions the starting point for their own musings upon the subjects they are studying. Such musings aid them in making sense out of their courses and academic experiences by finding relationships among them. Reflective students continually label and index their experiences and ideas, put them into structures, outlines, summaries, and frames of reference. They rearrange and file them. Best of all, they have an eye for the vital-for the essential. Unless ideas are placed in categories, unless they are taken up from time to time for re-examination, they will become inert and soon forgotten.

5. Review. If you will spend 10 minutes every week or so in a quick review of these notes, you will retain most of what you have learned, and you will be able to use your knowledge currently to greater and greater effectiveness.   

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

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Taking Notes from Web Pages 

Adapted from a designed by Dan McDowell.

When working on your research and current events papers it is important for you take advantage of the time you spend searching on the web. This page will help you take notes while you are looking for information using the internet. 


1. Get out your sheet of lined paper and draw a line down the left-hand side.

2. Next, label the top of your paper  with the bibliography information:  Author, title, date document created, http address, date of visit

3. Skim the reading. Since most articles do not have headers like your textbook you want to look for main ideas.



4. Now start taking notes.

  • In the left-hand column, you will write the main idea in a couple words, a short sentence, or a question.
  • In the right-hand column you will be summarizing the information from the web page.
  • Using bullets or numbers is a way to break up the information.

5. When finished with the topic, draw a horizontal line and start the next topic.


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Problem Solving Tips 

Problem solving is one of the more challenging aspects of the general chemistry course. Follow these steps for assistance in finding the answer!

A word of advice: begin solving a problem by reviewing the exact meaning of all the terms used, considering the specific physical situation to which the problem refers, and identifying precisely what is asked for in the problem. Do not begin solving a problem by substituting values in one equation or another in the hopes of obtaining the correct answer. It probably is going to take a good deal of work on your part to get used to solving problems in this manner. If you want to be successful in chemistry, however, that is what you will have to do.
As you read the problem the first time, try to create a picture in your mind of the physical situation to which the problem refers. Translate your mental picture into a sketch which you can annotate with physical data (length, width, temp, pressure, etc.)

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