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Library Research for Writing Assignments: A Quick Guide

Learn to find, read, and use database articles for a writing assignment.

Taking Notes for Research

Doesn't taking notes just eat up a lot of time?

  • Yes, if you have a photographic memory and can remember everything you see, hear, and read.
  • No, note-taking is simply part of an active-reading process
    • note-taking helps you understand and remember information better

Think of your notes as kind of a "cheat sheet" or "cue cards" that you can revisit when you need to remember.

What's the best way of taking notes?

Messy notes image

  • no one right or wrong way
  • jot down names, dates, concepts
  • jot down you thoughts, ideas, or questions
    • be as messy as you want with your notes -- as long as they help you learn, it doesn't matter what they look like
  • write notes in your own words
    • use in rough draft or outline
    • helps you avoid plagiarism
  • add the name of the database, the title of the article or books, author's name, and publishing date
    • you'll need it later

If you'd like some strategies or tips about note-taking, check out the LibGuide linked below.

Sample: Notes Page

Example of note-taking by hand


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