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Tips for taking notes by hand
First, use index cards to keep notes and
track sources used in your paper.
Work Cited cards for each source.
- Include citations in MLA format
(author, title, publisher, date,
page number, etc.)
- Organize sources alphabetically.
- Number your source cards.
Next, for each note card:
On one side:
- Record single idea, fact, or quote,
which helps with organization
On other side:
- Write key words at top,
- List Work Cited source number.
- Include page number from source.
Finally, while taking notes, remember to:
- Use abbreviations, acronyms, or
incomplete sentences to speed
up the note taking process.
- Only record information that
answer research questions.
- Use symbols, diagrams, charts or
drawings to simplify & visualize
Forms of notetaking
Use one of these notetaking forms to capture information:
Capture the main ideas of the source succinctly by restating them in your own words.
Restate the author's ideas in your own words.
Copy the quotation exactly as it appears in the original source. Put quotation marks
around the text and note the name of the person you are quoting.
Tips for Taking Notes Electronically
First, create a Work Cited document
for the sources you use.
- Add your sources in MLA format.
- Group sources by publication type
(i.e., book, article, website).
- Number your sources.
- For websites, include the URL.
Then, in your notes, place source
numbers from your Work Cited list
& the source's page number next to
your ideas. See examples below.
(Note #A5 and #B2 refer to article
source 5 and book source 2 from the
Work Cited file.)
- #A5 p.35: "first idea"
- #B2 p.76: "second idea"
After taking notes,
assign keywords or sub-topic headings
to each idea, quote, or summary.
Finally copy and paste to group
keywords or sub-topic ideas together.
Remember to back up your master list and note files frequently!