Note taking and outlining


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Note-Taking and Outlining for MLA research paper

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Note taking and outlining

  1. 1. MLA Research Paper Outlining and Drafting Notes Lecture
  2. 2. Note-Taking:  Create a general plan for your writing (list).  Beyond Introduction and Conclusion, what will your “talking points” be? These can be the basis for your body paragraphs.  Read carefully the sources you have located to determine which details will help support your “talking points.”
  3. 3. Note-Taking:  Understand the Information: Go beyond copy and paste; read the sources; determine what will be useful for your thesis.  Select the Information: Be sure to use a minimum of five (5) sources; weed out useless information in favor of key ideas.  Record the Information: Copy/paste or re-type info on your Google Doc. Be sure to differentiate between direct quotes and your own attempts to paraphrase. Keep all publication information (working bibliography) with your notes.
  4. 4. Outlining:  Create an outline for your draft. This will ensure that the drafting process goes smoothly, and that you don’t forget to add any key details from your research.  Use Roman Numerals (I, II) for the key talking points in your notes.  Use Capital Letters (A., B.) for the main ideas beneath those talking points.  Use Arabic Numerals (1, 2) for the details beneath the main ideas.
  5. 5. Outline Format: II. Finding a cure for AIDS A. Treating the disease 1. Testing new drugs 2. Distributing vaccines B. Funding the research 1. Soliciting private contributions 2. Seeking government assistance
  6. 6. Avoiding Plagiarism:  As you record information, be sure that you don’t “borrow” words and phrases from your sources.  Even a short phrase, if not properly cited, can lead to plagiarism.  Place quotation marks “…” around any words you copy directly from your sources.  Keep the publication information for your source close at hand whenever you paraphrase or summarize.
  7. 7. Summarizing  A summary condenses information, perhaps reducing an article to a short paragraph or even a single sentence.  A summary is written in your own words.  If you use exact phrases from the source, put them in quotation marks.
  8. 8. Paraphrasing  Like a summary, a paraphrase is written in your own words; but whereas a summary reports significant information in fewer words than the original source, a paraphrase retells the information in roughly the same number of words.  If you retain occasional choice phrases from the source, use quotation marks.
  9. 9. Quotes  A quotation consists of the exact words from a source.  In your notes, put all quoted material in quotation marks; do not assume that you will remember which words, phrases, and passages you have quoted and which are your own.  When you quote, be sure to copy the original words exactly, including spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
  10. 10. Quotation Marks: A few rules 1. Place quotation marks around any phrases or sentences used directly from the source material. 2. Use a comma to set apart any explaining words before or after a direct quote. 3. Place end punctuation INSIDE the quotation marks, unless you include a parenthetical reference. 4. With a parenthetical reference, the quotation marks go before the parentheses; the end mark goes after.
  11. 11. Longer Quotations  Longer quotations (more than 4 lines of type) should be introduced by an informative sentence, usually followed by a colon.  Because they are tabbed in, no quotation marks are necessary.  The parenthetical page reference, if there is one, goes outside the end mark.
  12. 12. Example: All double spaced Botan and Vorvoreanu examine the role of gender in company practices of electronic surveillance: There has never been accurate documentation of the extent of gender differences in surveillance, but by the middle 1990s, estimates of the proportion of surveilled employees that were women ranged from 76% to 80%. (127)
  13. 13. In-Text Citations  With an in-text citation, you acknowledge the source directly in your writing. Frederick Lane reports that employers do not necessarily have to use software to monitor how their employees use the Web: employers can “use a hidden video camera pointed at an employee’s monitor” and even position a camera “so that a number of monitors [can] be viewed at the same time” (147).
  14. 14. Parenthetical Citations  With parenthetical citations, you do not mention the source in the text of your writing.  Rather, you provide the quote/info and place the author’s last name and page # in parentheses at the end of the quote. Employers do not necessarily have to use soft- ware to monitor how their employees use the Web: employers can “use a hidden video camera pointed at an employee’s monitor” and even position a camera “so that a number of monitors [can] be viewed at the same time” (Lane 147).
  15. 15. What If? Q: What if there is no author listed for the article? A: Use the first keyword (other than a, an, the) in the title. Q: What if the article has no page numbers? A: Then don’t put page numbers in parentheses.