Taking notes for a research paper on note cards

Item number three is the paraphrased information that you found.

research paper source cards

Make a note of where the dense parts are and move on. Check out the differences between these two note cards for a research paper on baseball: Good note card: Star players become national heroes Many Americans could name every major league player, his batting average, and other accomplishments.

How many notecards for a research paper

You can have any number of piles and any number of cards in each pile. Write down every fact or note that may be of use to you in your paper. The card topic is a name that you make up yourself. Read each group one-by-one, taking notes between groups. Narrow down your sources. Think of it as the title, or main idea of the card. As you take notes, try to paraphrase all the information. Use 3 x 5 index cards, one fact or idea per card. If you copy something directly from a book without putting it in your own words, put quotation marks around it so that you know it is an exact quotation. Before you sit down to write your rough draft, organize your note cards by subtopic you can write headings on the cards and make an outline. Start with a fresh pack of research note cards.

If you wind up using that idea in your paper, you will have the information about the source ready to put in your footnote or endnote. For help making an outline, see the English Works web page on Pre-writing and Outlines. She lectures and writes about study skills.

This is a very common and costly mistake in research.

research paper note cards template

While this practice may seem old fashioned and out of date, it is actually still the best method for collecting research. Here is a sample card: The card topic is the title for the kind of information on the card. Sample Source List Remember!

note card outline format

Create your own system and stick to it. For more, see What is Plagiarism? Organizing Once you have written the information down on the note cards, you only need to go back and organize your cards by topic.

For example, if you are writing a paper on the life and works of the poet, Langston Hughes, you may have cards with topics such as: Hughes' upbringing Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Hughes' influences Hughes' poetry Hughes' political beliefs Hughes' influence on America Although it may seem tedious to give each note card a topic name, it serves two purposes: It keeps you focused in your research.

To make it easy on yourself, you can use an index card system as you gather information.

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10 Tips for Using Research Note Cards