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Q. Note-taking


Answer

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. 

 

LECTURE NOTES

  • 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.)

TO LEARN MORE:    

Consider browsing this helpful handout:  

  1. What is Plagiarism? 
  2. Evaluating Sources
  3. Finding Sources
  4. Reading Scientific Articles

 

Ready to try the next phase? We can help you at any of the STEPS along the way!

 

Want to chat with someone who can help? Book a consultation today! 

 

This information is brought to you by the Grand Valley Knowledge Market

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  • Last Updated Oct 18, 2019
  • Views 8
  • Answered By Francesca Golus

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