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Research Skills: Note-taking

Why take Notes?

Writing down information in a systematic way will mean that your outline, citation page, and the initial draft will be easier to write. Using a note taking method will assist in keeping your information more organized and will expedite and simplify the writing process.  Before you begin your research decide how you will collect and organize your information.  Decide how you will:

1) Note Taking Strategy

  • Record information
  • Record source citation information
  • Organize your notes

2) Note Taking Methos

  • Print (note cards or note book)
  • Digital (NoodleTools, Google Doc)
  • A mixture of both

The Note Card Method

The Note Card system can be useful when it comes to collecting and organizing information for a research project.  In this system you use physical note cards to create:

a) Subject or topic cards, which can be organized by topic for specific paragraphs when the researcher is preparing to write their paper.

b) Source cards which can be organized into the correct order to put together a bibliography or works cited page.

NoodleTools - Notetaking

NoodleTools is an excellent way to collect and organize your information and take notes.  The note cards are divided into 3 sections: Direct Quotation, Paraphrase / Summarize, My Ideas.   For more details visit NoodleTools and/or watch the video clip below.


There are many different ways to take notes. It is important to find a method that works for you as it will help ensure that your writing is clearer and more concise.  Take a look at the top 5 ways to take notes in the video clip below

Cornell method

The Cornell Method is a way of taking notes while reading or listening to a lecture. They can also be used a study guide.