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How to Take GOOD Notes for a Research Paper

How to Take GOOD Notes for a Research Paper

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How to Take GOOD Notes for a Research Paper

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  1. How to Take GOOD Notes for a Research Paper Or How to Think for Yourself and Eliminate Your Dependence on the Photocopier

  2. Organize as you go: • Put the source (usually the author’s name and book/source title) at the upper left corner of card. • Put the correct page number where you found the information along the left margin. If you change pages, make sure you note that in the margin. • Take notes only on the front of the card. • Quotation marks around anything copied word for word • Best if all notes are in your own words • Don’t cram everything on • Stick to only one topic per card • Follow card numbering system

  3. First Step: Get Notecards (use 4x6 cards -- lined is best) Topic of Notes; Card # Source ID Pg. # Notes

  4. Example: Your paper is on the physical characteristics of the Big Bad Wolf Pig, First Little Teeth #1 p. 32 • Teeth are long, pointy, sharp • Strong bite; big mouth • No cavities • Can chomp off pig’s head in seconds and go back for more p. 33

  5. Second card from same source: Pig, First Little Claws #1 p. 57 • Claws like teeth -- long, sharp, pointy • -helps him run fast; grip earth • can climb on roofs • Can dig huge holes under houses

  6. Third card: different source Hood, L.R.R. Teeth #1 p. 108 Teeth strong enough to eat humans - ate Grandma Teeth also dead give-away; no human has teeth like wolf’s

  7. Helpful Hints • Be as precise as possible with topics • Use pen; pencil smears • If using more than one book by same author, put book title w/ author’s name at top of card • If book is series of essays/articles by different authors, identify each author you use, not just the editor of the book • Internet sites have no page numbers • Make source cards for each source you use; easier to write works cited page later • Keep track of EVERY source you use

  8. What IS a Good Internet Site?? • Often edu. sites -- but be aware that students also post articles as part of a class requirement. Best to use work of a student in grad school. • Information has been previously published in scholarly magazine • Information is from a recognized educational site • Information is written by an authority whose credentials are listed on the site or in the “about” section

  9. What ISN’T a Good Internet Site? • A blog • A site by an unknown author or an author whose credentials are questionable or absent • Any site you have to pay to get information from (BookRags, SparkNotes, CliffsNotes, PinkMonkey, 123Cheat (duh!), etc. ) • An on-line encyclopedia, including Wikipedia • Any site that seems to be biased in any way • Any site that has bad grammar or misspellings