Students often skip this step.  They print out journal articles and information from the Internet.  Then they frantically flip through this pile of paper while balancing a stack of books on their lap.  They try to remember where they read this and who said that.  There must be a better way!  Of course, there is.  Carefully taken, organized notes will save you from all that frustration. 

Tips for Note Taking


Keep a running list of your sources, with complete bibliographic information.

bullet Decide what method you want to use to take notes:

Index cards work well  - stick to one point per card, group cards with similar information, arrange in order according to outline
If you prefer to type your notes, or even if you use plain old paper and pencil, organize your notes in a similar way.

Create notecards in NoodleTools as an easy way to keep track of where you found your information.
bullet As you take notes, document where you found every bit of information, including page numbers.  One way to do this is to number each source as you add it to your list, then jot this number down next to any notes you take from it.
bullet Highlight information in your printouts (not in books, of course) as you read it. Then refer to the highlighted areas when taking notes.
bullet Take notes as you are reading from print sources.  Don't forget to note the page number and source.
bullet When you are taking notes, use your own words to briefly capture the basic meaning or facts.
bullet Copy information word for word only if you are planning to use it as a direct quote.  Then clearly mark it as such.
bullet Consult your outline often, revise it if you need to, making sure you have research to support all your points.


Don't take too many notes

Stick to things that are relevant

Take enough notes

Don't rely on your memory