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Research Databases: Note Taking

5 Elements of Good Notes

Effective Research Notes:

  • are specific to your research question
  • include paraphrased ideas from your sources
  • include "quotations" from your sources (copy/paste with quotation marks around the words)
  • include citations
  • include your original ideas on the topic

Taking Notes for Research Papers

Taking Notes and Research Management


  • rewrite an idea using your own words and your own sentence structure; cite the source


  • record the author's words exactly as they appear on the source; put quotation marks around the words; cite the source

Getting Information

  • consult multiple authoritative sources (think critically - if something is repeated on the Internet, it does not make the information accurate!)