The Cornell Notes Format was created in the 1950s by Walter Pauk, who was, of course, a professor at Cornell. The system provides and orderly format for taking and summarizing notes in class. The system, at it's most basic, has 2 columns and 3 rows which create 4 sections, with a specific guide for what goes in each.
Step 1: The Format
To start, orient your paper vertically, and fold the side with holes (If you are using notebook paper) 1/3 of the way over to the right. Now, with a pen, start where the horizontal lines are, and draw along the fold. However, DO NOT draw all the way to the bottom. Leave 3 or 4 lines at the bottom (about 2 inches). now, draw 2 horizontal lines, one where the horizontal lines start, near the top, and one where your vertical line stopped, also along the horizontal lines. You know have your 4 sections.