Self-Service Help: Resource Market
Note-taking is an important technique that should be used when finding, reading, and evaluating sources. The topic of your assignment and research question should guide your note-taking. The guide below takes you through note-taking strategies that can be useful during course lectures, when reading textbooks, or during source evaluation.
- Utilize an outline format for each class - give each new topic a different title
- Emphasize main ideas and add complete thoughts using abbreviated text
- Avoid writing lecture word-for-word
- Start a new page of notes for each lecture
- Circle and underline key words that are unclear or you need more explanation
- Copy diagrams or other visuals used during the lecture
(These suggestions were adapted from the University of Washington Instructional Center)
READING & COMPREHENSION
- Break reading assignments into smaller chunks and take notes section-by-section
- Preview the section you are going to read by identifying headings or subheadings - use these are your note headings to stay organized
- Once you’ve read a section, ask yourself questions like “What did I learn?”and “What were the big ideas?” Add these to your notes as “Big Ideas” to summarize the text.
- Make note of the key information in your lecture notes. Fill in any lecture note gaps with your reading information.
(These suggestions were adapted from the GVSU SASC - Reading & Research)
EVALUATING SOURCES & CITATIONS
- Start a new notes page for each source and record the title, name of the author(s), and how you retrieved the source
- Put information in quotation marks if they came directly from the source and add an in-text citation at the end (e.g. Smith, 2019)
- Use abbreviations and provide examples used in the source to explain concepts
(This information was adapted from the Note-taking Strategies page.)
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