how to take notes - ZimmermanCollegePrepIV

How to Take GOOD Notes
for a Research Paper
How to Think for Yourself and
Eliminate Your Dependence on
the Photocopier
Organize as you go:
Put the source (usually the author’s name and
book/source title) at the upper left corner of
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
Take notes only on the front of the card.
Quotation marks around anything copied word for
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
First Step: Get Notecards
(use 4x6 cards -- lined is best)
Source ID
Topic of Notes; Card #
Pg. #
Example: Your paper is on the
physical characteristics of the Big
Bad Wolf
Pig, First Little
p. 32
Teeth are long, pointy, sharp
-Strong bite; big mouth
-No cavities
p. 33
-Can chomp off pig’s head in seconds
and go back for more
Second card from same source:
Pig, First Little
p. 57
Claws like teeth -- long, sharp, pointy
-helps him run fast; grip earth
-can climb on roofs
-Can dig huge holes under houses
Third card: different source
Hood, L.R.R.
p. 108
Teeth strong enough to eat humans
- ate Grandma
Teeth also dead give-away; no human
has teeth like wolf’s
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
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
Information is written by an authority whose
credentials are listed on the site or in the
“about” section
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