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Tips for Taking Notes
- Use index cards to keep notes and track sources used in your paper.
- Create Work Cited cards for each source.
- Include the citation (i.e., author, title, publisher, date, page numbers, etc.) in MLA format. It will be easier to organize the sources alphabetically when creating the Work Cited page.
- Number the source cards.
- On each note card:
- Use only one side to record a single idea, fact or quote from one source. It will be easier to rearrange them later when it comes time to organize your paper.
- Include a heading or key words at the top of the card.
- Include the Work Cited source card number.
- Include the page number where you found the information.
- Taking notes:
- Use abbreviations, acronyms, or incomplete sentences to record information to speed up the notetaking process.
- Write down only the information that answers your research questions.
- Use symbols, diagrams, charts or drawings to simplify and visualize ideas.
Forms of Notetaking
Use one of these notetaking forms to capture information:
- Summarize: Capture the main ideas of the source succinctly by restating them in your own words.
- Paraphrase: Restate the author's ideas in your own words.
- Quote: 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.