Use any method that works for you:
- Index cards
- Notebook paper
- Note taking grid (click here to see a sample.)
After each note, put the name of the resource you used, in case you have to go back later and check your information. Put your notes in your own words so that when you go to write your essay you will not have copied somebody else's work. This is called plagiarism and it is against the Cabrini Code of Conduct.
- Read an encyclopedia article first so you have a broad idea of what the topic is about and what is important if you read a longer book. Read through the whole article first before you start taking notes.
- Do not try to read a whole book or chapter before taking notes. Read one or two paragraphs and decide whether the information is important to you. If it is, take notes.
- Try to summarize the information in your own words so it makes sense.
- DO NOT try to write down every word. Notes are used to remind you of what you read. Therefore bullet form works best.
- Develop your own way of abbreviating words BUT don't use abbreviations if you don't know what they abbreviate.
- Separate notes by skipping lines, numbering them, or bullet them so they are easy to read later.
- Leave room next to each note in case you want to add information later.
Hints for Outlining:
- Put your notes together before you make your outline.
- Make a topic outline that will be the framework of your essay.
- Keep it simple. Use main ideas and not complete sentences.
Citation Style Guides: