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Taking notes as you research is really helpful. It will save you time, help you remember where different sources of information came from, and help you turn the information you find into a great paper or project. You can take notes by hand or digitally. 

Tips For Taking Notes By Hand

  • Use index cards to keep notes and track sources used in your paper.
  • Create Work Cited cards for each source.
    • Include the citation (i.e., author, title, publisher, date, page numbers, etc.) in MLA format. It will be easier to organize the sources alphabetically when creating the Work Cited page.
    • Number the source cards.
  • On each note card:
    • Use only one side to record a single idea, fact or quote from one source. It will be easier to rearrange them later when it comes time to organize your paper.
    • Include a heading or key words at the top of the card. 
    • Include the Work Cited source card number.
    • Include the page number where you found the information.
  • Taking notes:
    • Use abbreviations, acronyms, or incomplete sentences to record information to speed up the notetaking process.
    • Write down only the information that answers your research questions.
    • Use symbols, diagrams, charts or drawings to simplify and visualize ideas.

Tips For Taking Notes Electronically

  • Keep a separate Work Cited file of the sources you use.
    • As you add sources, put them in the style your teacher wants. 
    • Group sources by type (book, article, website).
    • For websites, include the URL information.
  • Next to each idea, include where you got the information from so you don't forget later! 
  • When done taking notes, assign keywords or sub-topic headings to each idea, quote or summary.
  • Use the copy and paste feature to group keywords or sub-topic ideas together.
  • Back up your master list and note files frequently!

 

Ms. Cidney Mayes | Memorial Middle School | 120 Wescott Road | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-773-5629