Take note! Skillful notetaking = headache-free writing!
Take Note! Skillful note-taking =Headache-free writing!
Avoid the FrustrationIt is easy, when workingon a research paper, tolose track of where youfound some of yourinformation!This can be a nightmare when it is time to workon your citations (in-text citations, works citedor reference list).
Consider this…Start taking notes by using a computer and a word processorat the VERY BEGINNING of your research process…
ANY time that you start work on a document (or PowerPointor other file), start by saving a copy to your computer or flashdrive. Remember to click the save button every few minutesso that you are backing up your work as you go! (If the electricity goes off after an hour of working, you’ll be very glad you did this!)
If you like, you can go ahead and set up the documentaccording to your instructors wishes (or according to thestyle such as MLA or APA that you’re using for the class.)This could include:Headers & Footers – Spacing – Margins - Etc…
As you are researching (books, databases,web sites), take note of the informationabout any of the resources that you thinkyou may use.Many databases help you out withcitations, but they are NOT PERFECT!However, it’s okay to copy and paste thatinformation at this point!These examples are not a properly-formatted reference/works cited list, butthey are a starting point!
After you’ve gathered your resources(books, articles, web sites) it is time tobegin reading and taking notes….
Consider taking notes under the information about each resource in yourdocument!For some citations styles you may need the page number. You may not berequired to include this information for other styles, but it might be helpful toyou as you are doing your research so that you can easily find it again!
If you use those notes as you write your paper, it is easy to seewhere the information came from so that you can include yourin-text citations as you go!
When you’ve finished writingyour rough draft, it is time toclean and polish yourreferences/works cited list!You can use your notes pages asa starting point!
Go to your notes pages. Highlight all of your notes, copy them,and then paste it to a new page!
After pasting your notes to anew page, remove all of thenotes, but leave behind theinformation about the resources(citation information).
Your citation list is still rough! At this point…• Remove any citations that you did not use in your paper.• Use your citation guides to put the information into the correct format.• Put the citations in alphabetical order.• Adjust spacing, hanging indent, etc.