Organizing Your Information
Reading Your Material
Now that you have found some valuable resources, you will need to begin reviewing the material and organizing the information for future use. As you read, you will want to take notes on any information that you might potentially use. This will make it easy to find the necessary information when you are ready to begin writing your draft of the paper.
Notebook with the words "taking notes"
Once you have found some good source material, you will need to make note cards to record the information that you have discovered. You will use these note cards later to provide you with the facts and information to write your paper. Since the note cards will document your research for later use, it is important that your note cards be formatted correctly.
For each source that you use in your paper, you will need to have a source notecard. A source notecard is simply a card with the important information about the source that you are using. This source information will be used later to create your works cited page.
Watch this video on how to write research notecards for your research paper. This provides excellent details on how to take notes, different types of notecards, the difference between quotations and paraphrases and more.
It is critical that you make good note cards so that as you move forward and are ready to begin writing, you will have all of the information that you need. Click on this link to read more about how to format your note cards:
You can also refer to the section in chapter 20 of our Exploring Writing book for more specific information on formatting. If you need some note cards, please ask an instructor for a small supply.
You will need to have a source card for each source you are using. You should also have one or more research cards for each source you are using. Remember, these note cards will give you the facts, information, quotes, and references for the paper that you will be writing.
Once you have completed your note cards, review them with your instructor and have your packet/student guide signed off.
Do Your Own Research
You should now take the time to do your own research. You will read the materials you have gathered, and make notes on the materials as you read. You will need to have a source card for each source you are using. You should also have one or more research cards for each source you are using. Remember, these notecards will give you the facts, information, quotes, and references for the paper that you will be writing.
As you do your research, you may find that some of your sources will not be helpful. You may have to go back and obtain more sources. This process is really just to gather all of the information that you will need to write your paper and to organize it for later use.
Remember to ask an instructor if you need any assistance.
Before you proceed any further, see an instructor to have your note cards approved and signed off on in your research packet.