As you start taking notes for research paper keep in mind that the only way to do it is to do it systematically . By systematically it means that you should note down all the information along with the note that you have recorded with yourself. The information about the note should include the bibliographic data, any especial observation or keyword that you want to evaluate later on. These small details will help you a lot later when you are analyzing your notes and writing your research paper. There are many other points you need to consider while writing notes for your research project but being systematic is most important
Take notes systematically
First thing to consider off course is to take notes systematically and why you should be systematic you will know later when you will be analyzing your notes. It is easy to take notes from here and there and writing down notes whatever note book you have in hand but later when you will be analyzing them and making your conclusion you will feel like either information is missing or it is not clear to you. Keep one notebook with you all the time so that you can take notes on that. Record notes on separate pages and be clear in writing the note so in the end you can understand it well. There are many other ways in which you can be systematic like you can have headings and subheadings and record each note under that heading so that you know what this note is all bout.
Create templates for notes
Create a template for the way you want to take notes and use it for all the notes you are going to take. There can be various ways in which you can record them but use one that you are more comfortable in. For example write down the title on the top of the note then carefully write down the direct quotation form the book or article. You can write down your own comments on the bottom clearly specifying that it is different from the direct quotation that is from the book. You need to make a bibliographic card for each note that will include the author/s name, title of the topic book or article, publication, page number, place published, year etc.
You can make more templates if you are suing several sources like books, journals, magazines, newspapers or autobiographies etc. Make separate workable template for each of the source mentioned above. You can also ask your teacher what kind of template you should use and she will be helpful in this regard.
Record the following on each note
- The bibliographic data is a must have for each note and record it as you are recording the note itself.
- Any keywords that you think should be discussed and analyzed later and are of great importance should be noted on the top or lower corner of the note. You can also highlight the important points or keywords within the note use any method but make them the most emphasizing thing on the page so you do not forget what you have thought about your note.
- Another important point is to write down your own responses, agreements, disagreements, speculations about the notes. There are moments when we observe something important in our note and if we fail to note it at that time we might forget it later so if there is something you are thinking about your note do record it. You can later think about it in detail and find valuable information.
- The main note that you have recorded from any book, article or a journal should be written down in quotations marks so it is distinctive from the rest of the data. It should be easily differentiated from any other thing that you have written on your note. You should also write it in clear handwriting so that you do not make any grammar, spelling or any other mistake.
- In addition there are so many electronic note taking tools out there if you are comfortable in using any of these you can checkout any of those.
- Turabian, L. k., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 8th Ed, 2007, pp-41-43