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The Research Process: A Step-By-Step Guide: 4a. Note-taking

This guide walks you through the steps of the research process.

Example of Work Cited Card

Work Cited Card

Example Note-card

Notecard

Tips for Note-taking

Here are some important tips for note-taking:

  • Use index cards to keep notes and track sources of information used in your paper.
  • Create numbered Work Cited cards for each source of information.
    • Include all of the citation information (i.e., author, title, publisher, date, page numbers, etc.) you will need to write your Works Cited page.
    • Record the citation information in MLA format. When it comes time to write your Works Cited page, it will be easier to organize your sources alphabetically.
  • On each card:
    • Use only one side to record notes.
    • Record only one idea, fact or quote from one source on a note-card. It will be easier to rearrange them later when it comes time to organize your paper.
    • Include a heading for the topic of the card. 
    • Include the original source of the information. If you have created numbered Work Cited cards for each source, you will only need to include the source number.
    • Include the page number where you found the information.
  • Taking notes:
    • Use abbreviations, acronyms, or incomplete sentences to record information (as long you will understand them later). This will speed up the note-taking process.
    • Do not write down everything. Extract only the information that answers your research questions
    • Use one of the following note-taking forms:
      • Summarize the main idea of the article, then outline its main points.
      • Paraphrase or record notes in your own words.
      • If you plan to use an exact quote, make sure you copy the quotation exactly as it appears in the original source. Enclose the quote in quotation marks and note the name of the person you are quoting.
    • Use symbols, diagrams, charts or drawings to simply and visualize ideas.

Subject Guide

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Lynda Kennedy
Contact:
Clara Wood Gould Memorial Library

College of Coastal Georgia

One College Drive

Brunswick, GA 31520

912-279-5782