Research‎ > ‎The Research Process‎ > ‎

Taking Notes

Taking notes is essentially finding information within your source by reading, listening, viewing and then extracting the nuggets of proof.

Here are some tips:

1. Do not read every source word for word, instead, skim and scan to find the relevant parts. 
2. Notice how the source organizes the information.
3. Keep your main topics from your outline in mind when reading.
4. Look for key ideas, bolded words, or specific data when reading through sources.
5. Use the Table of Contents and the Index to narrow the scope.
6. Distinguish between 'fact' and 'opinion'

Here are some tips on creating notecards:
  • Write down main topic based on your preliminary outline on the top left.  (3 main topics is a general rule)
  • Write only one idea, one direct quote, or one indirect quote on a notecard but make sure it directly relates to your purpose.
    • Identify direct quotes with quotation marks and the person's name.
  • Write the source number for your source card which you got the information on the upper right hand corner.
  • Write the page number from which you got the quote from the source on the bottom.
  • Avoid excessively long quotes (Remember, this is YOUR paper/project, not your sources)!

Quotations that are identical to the original. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.

putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage.