Suggestions for Note-Taking
(taken from Fairfield University's Dimenna Nyselius Library "Note Taking Tips
- Write down the citation of your sources. For each
source you use, keep track of the bibliographic data--for a journal article, it's the author, article
title, journal title, volume and page numbers. For a book, it's the author, title, publication place and
date. For an Internet site, it's the author, the title of the web page (if any), the sponsoring
organization, the web site address, the date it was last updated, and the date you last looked at it.
One handy tip: once you've printed out the article or web site, or copied part of the book, write
the complete citation (author, title, etc.) directly on your copy. That way you'll have it once
you're ready to do your works cited page.
- Take careful notes.
Distinguish sentences/passages you're quoting directly with *big* quotation marks, or by color-
coding them with a highlighter. Be sure to note who you're quoting. And when paraphrasing, highlight or
mark those passages to distinguish them from your own ideas--which you can mark by writing or typing the
word "ME" next to them.
- Keep a research log.On a separate sheet of
paper or in a separate document, note the different databases/catalogs/search engines you use when doing
research, as well as the combination of terms you use for each source. This will come in handy when
you're trying to remember what database you found that perfect article in, and will also come to your
defense if you're ever unjustly accused of plagiarism.
- Don't toss your notestill the semester is
over. You never know when you'll need to look back at something, or (worst case scenario) provide proof
that you didn't plagiarize.