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  1. 1. You will spend the majority ofyour time for research papers Taking notes!
  2. 2. Note Taking Process:1. Skim. Skim through the article first to know whether it will or will not be useful for your paper. Read the first couple of paragraphs to determine its usefulness.1. Read. You must read AND understand what you read. This means reading an entire paragraph or section before you take notes on it AND being able to state verbally or in writing what you have just read.2. Select. While taking notes, be picky about what you note. Do yourself a future favor by selecting carefully at this stage. Only write down notes that will be useful later in writing your paper.3. Record. Remember to jot down the author or title of the source, page numbers, and “slugs” or categories for later sorting and outlining.
  3. 3. Note Taking Techniques:“How do I put what Im reading into my own words?”1. Don’t write down word-for-word and dont copy phrases unique to the style of the author unless you plan on using it later as a quotation.2. Use abbreviations and incomplete sentences – whatever saves time – as long as you know that you’ll be able to understand your notes later.1. For complicated paragraphs, you may want to make a mini outline of key points (Main Idea - Sub Idea) as your notes.2. Dont just substitute words from the original while note taking. You will have to change it later because it is considered plagiarism. Even though you’re using different words, you are copying the authors phrasing and sentence structure.3. Test yourself! Read a paragraph or section until you feel you understand the content. Without looking at the original text, write down what you remember. Then, go back and read the original work to make sure that the words are different but the meaning is the same.
  4. 4. Note Taking Process:There are three ways to take notes:1. Quotations. These are identical to the original source. When note taking, put “quotation marks” around the words. Quotations are helpful to support your points, but shouldn’t overwhelm your paper. A paper filled with quotations doesn’t reflect your thoughts or opinions, just repeats those of others.2. Paraphrasing. This means taking a paragraph or section from the source and putting it into your own words. Most of your notes should be paraphrases. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original.3. Summarizing. This means taking the main idea(s) of a paragraph or section and putting it into your own words. Summaries are shorter than paraphrases and take a broader view of the source material.
  5. 5. Plagiarism“What is Plagiarism?”To "plagiarize" is presenting someone elses writing or ideas as yourown. The most common example is copying something word for word,including phrases that are unique to someones writing style, withoutusing quotation marks. But you also plagiarize when you usesomeones ideas without giving them credit. When you dont cite yoursources, you tell the audience that YOU came up with these ideas, notthe original author or artist.To give credit, you need parenthetical citations (otherwise known as in-text citations) and the source needs to be listed at the end of your paperin a “Works Cited” (MLA format) or a “References” page (APA format).
  6. 6. Plagiarism continued“But I didnt mean to plagiarize!”Students sometimes plagiarize unintentionally. You know that copyingand pasting from the Internet is plagiarism. But plagiarism also includes:• copying phrases unique to someones writing style without using quotes• stating ideas and information that were researched, organized, and interpreted by someone else without proper citing. This includes your paraphrases and summaries from your notes.Even if you don’t use a direct quotation, you still need to cite the source.In fact, anything not considered common knowledge, needs a citation.Rule of thumb: If you didnt know it before you read it, then it isnt"common knowledge."
  7. 7. Plagiarism continuedFrom Purdue Universitys OWL site:The original passage:Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a resultthey overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10%of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore,you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materialswhile taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.A plagiarized version:Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in toomany of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of thefinal copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit theamount of source material copied while taking notes.This is a common example of plagiarism. The student just changed certain words. Forexample, "overuse" is replaced with "use too many.” This is considered plagiarismbecause the student is using the exact meaning and sentence structure of theauthor. The student also did not provide a citation.
  8. 8. Plagiarism continuedFrom Purdue Universitys OWL site:A legitimate paraphrase:In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keepquoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usuallyoriginates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the materialrecorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).An acceptable summary:Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources tohelp minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester46-47).
  9. 9. Note Taking Method #1: Note Cards
  10. 10. Note Cards:In this method, you will need a big stack of index cards. Some people likecards of different colors so they can organize them easier later.Bibliography CardsThe traditional way of using note cards requires a bibliography card. Abibliography card contains information about the source that you will useto take notes for your paper and eventually put in your “Works Cited”(MLA) or “References” page (APA).Even if you use Easybib for your citations, it may still a good idea to createa bibliography card with the following information for each source:Author, title, today’s date, database (if used), ISBN number and pagenumber (if it’s a print source) URL (if it’s a website).If the source is a database or a website, you can write down the keywordsthat you used to find the article. If the source is an eBook, you may wantto write down where you found the eBook and from which place youborrowed it (and when it’s due)!
  11. 11. Note Cards:Your other note cards will contain notes taken from your sources. Thesenotes can be in the form of a quotation (copy exactly), a paraphrase, or asummary.Be sure to write down a “slug” or category name on each card. Theseslugs will be used to organize your notes later. Some students choose touse index cards with different colors to keep their slugs organized.Some use use highlighters of different colors to code their “slugs.”After you are finished taking notes, put your slugs into different piles foryour outline.
  12. 12. Note Cards: Example: A student is researching steroid use among high school students. The student has read background information, created keywords and questions, and developed an essential question: Why do high school students use steroids? The student is now conducting research and has found a great source which discusses this problem. Quenqua - author Stats - slug Quenqua - author Reasons Why - slug Body image changing among males.Study in Pediatrics Journal – 38% Now must be muscular. Also, malemiddle - high school boys use protein sports heroes have lessoned publicsupplements, 6%, steroids. percep of risk. Sports more competitive – give an edge. high school high schoolSIRS – database SIRS – database students students1/12/13 – date 1/12/13 – date - keywords - keywords
  13. 13. Note Taking Method #2:Note Cards: Notebook
  14. 14. Notebook:For some students, note cards can be too confining or cumbersome. Youcan use the same techniques as note cards by using a regular notebook.The key is to write only on one side of the paper and draw lines toseparate your “slugs.” You may then use different colored highlighters ifyou wish to separate your “slugs.”When you are finished taking notes, rip out all of your pages and usingscissors, cut your notes into “cards.”
  15. 15. Notebook: Quenqua - author Stats - slugExample: Study in Pediatrics Journal – 38% middle - high school boys use protein supplements,A student is researching 6%, steroids.steroid use among highschool students. Thestudent has read high schoolbackground information, SIRS – database studentscreated keywords and 1/12/13 – date - keywordsquestions, anddeveloped an essentialquestion: Why do high Quenqua - author Reasons Why - slugschool students use Body image changing among males.steroids? The student is Now must be muscular. Also, male sportsnow conducting research heroes have lessoned public percep ofand has found a great risk. Sports more competitive – give ansource which discusses edge.this problem. high school SIRS – database students 1/12/13 – date - keywords
  16. 16. Note Taking Method #3:Note Cards: Word Processor
  17. 17. Word Processor:Many people feel comfortable thinking and creating on a computer. Ifyour handwriting isn’t the best or it’s too large, or you find that handwriting your notes (especially quotations) seems repetitive, you maywant to use a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.When you are finished taking notes, you can print out all of your pagesand using scissors, cut your notes into “cards.” Or organize it in newfiles as you see fit.Make sure that you include the same information that you include fornote cards or the notebook method, including “slugs.” Remember thatyou will need access to a computer at all times and you should haveyour files in a portable format. Do not save your files on differentcomputers (i.e. one at school and one at home). Get a flash drive or useGoogle Docs to prevent yourself from duplicating your efforts.Microsoft Word has an Notebook layout mode which has the look of anotebook and will make an outline easily. There’s also an audio notesfeature.
  18. 18. Word Processor: Quenqua - author Stats - slugExample: Study in Pediatrics Journal – 38% middle - high schoolA student is researching boys use protein supplements, 6%, steroids.steroid use among high SIRS – databaseschool students. The 1/12/13 – datestudent has read high school students – keywordsbackground information, Quenqua - author Reasons Why - slugcreated keywords andquestions, and Body image changing among males. Now must be muscular. Also, male sports heroes have lessoneddeveloped an essential public percep of risk. Sports more competitive – give an edge.question: Why do highschool students use SIRS – databasesteroids? The student is 1/12/13 – date high school students – keywordsnow conducting researchand has found a greatsource which discussesthis problem.
  19. 19. Word Processor:A special word of caution:Although this method can be quicker than the others, be leery of copyingand pasting everything in place of real note taking. Any fourth gradercan select a paragraph or section of an article, copy it, and paste it into aword processor. It takes skill to read it, understand it, and paraphrase orsummarize the contents. If you skip these important steps, you firstly,will not select the appropriate information (usually, students select toomuch), nor will you have a complete understanding of the material.Some students think they’re accomplishing a lot with a few short-cuts.Ultimately, they’re wasting their time because they’re not learninganything.The rise of plagiarism is due to student copy and paste from the internet.To avoid accidental plagiarism, please refer to the section on plagiarism.
  20. 20. Note Taking Method #4:Note Cards: Easybib
  21. 21. Easybib:Lastly, a method that is unlike anything else…Easybib has a Notes &Outline feature. It is only available for school accounts like ours andyou need to login in order to use it. You obviously, also need to be at acomputer and have internet access. The benefits are as follows:You directly link your Works Cited (which is in Easybib anyway) withyour notes. You can also drag your note cards over to the “outline”side of the page. This way, you can see your notes and your outline inthe same place. Also, there isn’t a physical item that you need to keeptrack of. Basically, your notes, Works Cited, and outline are all linkedtogether just by logging into Easybib.
  22. 22. Easybib:Login to Easybib. Start a project. Click on Notes & Outline. Create a NewNote. Choose the appropriate source. Type your “slug” in the “identifier”box. You don’t need to type in the other information since you are linkingthe source directly with your Works Cited.When you’re ready, you can stack them together, then move the notesboxes over to the right side and you’ll see your outline form.
  23. 23. Easybib: View notes. Enter new note. Make an outline.
  24. 24. Organization:If using the note card, notebook, or word processing method, gather all ofyour cards, pages, or printouts. Separate them into piles according totheir “slugs.” Get a rubber band, a box, or a paper clip to keep your pilesin order. If using Easybib Notes, login and go to your project.Take time to read your notes again. Consider which “stack” should gofirst. If you find you need to do more research, now’s the time.For those cards which seem to be singular points and don’t quite make upa stack, put them aside. They may be useful at some point in your paper,or in your introduction or conclusion.You now need to formulate a thesis statement.
  25. 25. Works Cited:Driscoll, Dana Lynn, and Allen Brizee. "Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing." Purdue OWL. N.p., 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 07 Jan. 2013. <>."Hunter College Reading/Writing Center." Research Guidelines: Notetaking. Hunter College, 11 Mar. 1999. Web. 07 Jan. 2013. < line/notetaki.html>.Mills, Barbara, and Mary Stiles. A Rookies Guide to Research: An MLA Style Guide. Bryson City, NC: Union Creek, 2009. Print.