Lecture Styles 

Teachers use varied styles while lecturing to a class. There are about six techniques of lecturing typically used by teachers anywhere. By identifying your teacher’s style, you can improve your note taking techniques.


The teacher presents the topic and goes on to discuss sub-topics in a logical order with different levels of detail. Words like one or fourth are indications of the topic-list style of teaching. Listen for transition words like next and finally. These will tell you when the teacher is moving on to the next sub-topic.


Here, the lecturer introduces a topic and then poses one or more questions pertaining to the subject. This helps to provoke the students into analyzing and trying to answer the questions themselves. The teacher answers each question and then moves on to another section of the topic. The process is repeated. Listen for words like what, why, how, who, where and when to identify the question-answer style.


In this style, the teacher identifies two ideas or things to compare and contrast. He/She then highlights their similarities and differences. Words like similarly, likewise, just as, or correspondingly indicate similarity. Expressions like whereas and on the other hand are used to point out differences. Listen for the frequent use of these words and phrases to identify the compare-contrast style.

Series of Events:

Does your teacher introduce a topic and then elaborate upon it in the form of a chronological thought process? Expressions such as to start with, at the outset, initially and it began when, could be followed by after that, then, thereafter and later, indicating various stages or steps in the lecture and conclude with words and phrases like final, at the end or it concluded with.


If this is the style being used, the teacher will begin by introducing an idea or event which has a definite consequence. He will then expound further upon one or more consequences in some detail. If the lecture contains terms such as because, since, therefore, thus and hence, it is a sign that the teacher is following the cause-effect style.


In this style, the teacher presents a problem to the students and goes on to explain what makes it a problem. He/She could include additional information on whom it affects and how. He or she then discusses different approaches towards resolving the problem. Finally the teacher reveals the solution to the student. Alternatively, if the answer has not been found, he will summarize the status of every attempt to resolve it. Words like problem, difficulty, quandary, puzzle, solution, sorted out and resolved crop up often when problem-solution is the lecture style that the teacher is using.

By familiarizing yourself with a teacher’s lecture style, you are free to focus entirely on the topic under discussion. Knowing what to expect, you will be in a better position to take down notes quickly and efficiently.