Notes are required when writing a thesis paper. We write from our notes, not the source. In addition to verifying references and bibliography, the act of writing notes helps us reflect on what we have read and keeps us from plagiarizing.
- Focus on the main ideas of the research questions.
- Locate relevant information within a source.
- Use a “thoughtful” notetaking cycle.
- Analyze the information to determine if it answers research questions.
- Evaluate the information.
- Take appropriate notes to avoid plagiarism.
- Use note cards or graphic organizers efficiently and effectively.
- Use correct bibliographic form as specified by the teacher.
When taking notes, you must include the following information on the particular note:
- Subtopic – each idea or subtopic on a separate page;
- Citation – full citations first time used, then surname or some abbreviated title;
- Page Numbers – accuracy is key;
- Information in brief phrases;
- Information in direct quotes
One tip is to record the citations on separate cards called SOURCE CARDS and label each citation with a letter. On NOTE CARDS that call back to the SOURCE CARDS, write the letter that corresponds to the SOURCE.
The SOURCE CARD would look like this: