Modern World History Summer Assignment

Dear Incoming Freshmen:

Your Modern World History teachers are very excited to meet you! In Modern World History, you will study the modern world; defined as the period from 1500 to the present. Your summer assignment will give you a preview of the reading for the first instructional unit, which covers the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, and will allow you to practice the Cornell note-taking system you will use in your history classes.  

Assignment Directions

  1. Read these pages from your textbook (History Alive! World Connections), starting with the section on the Scientific Revolution.
  2. Use the Cornell note system to take notes on your reading and summarize what you learned.  

How to Take Cornell Style Notes

Step One: Record

  1. Prepare your notepaper by creating a two-column table. The lefthand column should take up about 1/3 of your writing space, leaving the remaining 2/3 for recording information. Use only one side of each sheet of notepaper.  
  2. Record information on what you read in the big column on the right side of your paper.
  3. Summarize and paraphrase (restate in your own words) the facts and ideas presented. Record definitions as stated or written.
  4. Indicate changes in topic with headings or by leaving a space between topics
  5. Number, indent, or bullet key ideas presented with each topic.
  6. Use short sentences, abbreviations, and symbols. This will increase your note taking speed.
  7. Write legibly so your notes make sense to you later.
  8. Edit as soon as possible.

Step Two: Question

  1. Come up with questions based on the information recorded in your notes and write them in the smaller column on the left-hand side of your paper.  Questions should focus on specific definitions and “big ideas”.

Step Three: Summarize

  1. Write a summary of the main ideas using your own words. This is the best test of how well you understand the information.
  2. Use a section at the bottom of each sheet of notes to write your summary or write a summary of all the notes on the last page of your note sheets.

Use the following template for your notes:

Cornell Notes:








Main Ideas/Questions:







Sample Cornell Notes:

Your finished Cornell notes are due on the first day of class. If you have any questions about this assignment, please email your teacher at their Menlo address.

Download a pdf of this document.