Making notes is an important part of reading. It can help you understand and analyse what you read, provide a good starting point for assignments and help you avoid plagiarism.
There are a few different note-taking methods that you may find useful:
Over time you’ll develop a system for writing or typing notes. To get started think about using:
It’s important to have some key questions or topics in mind to guide your reading. Use the strategies of skimming, scanning and detailed reading to find the most relevant sections to take notes from.
After you take notes consider the following techniques.
Try to take notes in your own words – this is called paraphrasing and summarising. This forces you to process the information you’re reading and ensures you have a good understanding of it. It also helps you avoid unintended plagiarism when you come to write your assignment.
When using a resource, put all the bibliographic information at the top of your page. As you take notes, record the page number next to your notes so you can reference it later on.
If you write down a direct quote, make sure you identify it using quotation marks and note the page number it appeared on.
This material was developed by the Learning Centre, who offer workshops, face-to-face consultations and resources to support your learning. Find out more about how they can help you develop your communication, research and study skills.