Take Good Notes

Good notes, notes that clearly say where in your sources you found facts and ideas, can save a lot of time and trouble. As you take notes, try to do the following:

  • Write down page numbers, titles, authors and publication information in your notes.

  • When you use Internet resources, make sure you write down the exact Web address (URL) and the date you accessed the information.

  • Find a way to clearly mark which ideas are yours and which came from other sources. Perhaps use different colored pens, or use note cards.
  • Write down quotations exactly as they appeared in the original text or photocopy pages you want to use. When paraphrasing, it's important to make sure that you don't inadvertently re-use the original text.

  • Use the rules of the citation style your instructor assigned to write down citations as you go. Any work you can do ahead of time will give you more time for proofreading and re-writes.