Saturday, August 19, 2006

How to Read and Take Notes

Note taking is just the time to develop your skimming talents. When you begin reading the materials from your bibliography, you should start taking notes and writing quotations related to your specific research paper thesis. However, before reading the source, be sure to look over the table of contents, the index, and a sample paragraph to ensure that this source is relevant to the subject at hand.

Prior to taking notes, you should familiarize yourself with these successful note-taking strategies:
  • Summarizing. To summarize all you have read effectively, you should reduce all the information to a few important points using your own words.
  • Paraphrasing. To paraphrase, you should restate what you have read using your own words. However, if you take phrases and key words directly from the source, do not forget to put quotation marks.
  • Quoting directly. To quote directly, you should record the statement and put quotation marks before and after it.
Here are some recommendations for efficient note taking:
  • Keep notes on cards of the same size and style.
  • Be sure to jot down interesting quotations and important information along with the page numbers where the information is located.
  • To avoid plagiarism, place quotation marks around word-for-word quotations.
  • Use ellipsis when you leave words out of a quotation and brackets around the words you add to a quotation.
  • Give each note card a descriptive heading.

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