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Miner/Moses - Activism: Research Notes

Why is note-taking important?

You need to do research to collect facts and expert opinions to support your point. What is important for others to know? Good note-taking helps you do that. It will prevent you from plagiarizing (copying sentences word for word).

Even changing a few words of a sentence is still plagiarism because you are stealing the author's original sentence structure and idea.

What is a good note card?

Good note cards:

  • Facts or statistics about the problem
  • Facts or statistics about the location (that are relevant to the problem)
  • Opinions about causes of the problem
  • Opinions about solutions to the problem

Steps to Good Note-Taking

1. Figure out your research question. What information are you looking for?

2. Skim:

  • Headings
  • First and last sentence
  • First and last paragraph
  • Bold and italicized words

3. Scan: Look quickly at the text, searching for keywords, related words, and answers to your questions

4. Read deeper when you find important text.

5. Use one of these note-taking forms to capture information:

  • Summarize: Capture the main ideas of the source by restating them in your own words
  • Paraphrase: Restate the author's ideas in your own words
  • Quote: Copy the quotation exactly as it appears in the original source. Put quotation marks around the text and note the name of the person you are quoting.