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Take Notes for Research: Overview

Notetaking Methods

Notes are not just to record information, but to help you think. Your goals in taking notes are to:

  • Summarize the source
  • Critically evaluate the source
  • Connect the ideas in the source to other sources and to your research question
  • Distinguish your ideas from the author's ideas
  • Connect the source's ideas to its citation

Depending on your assignment, you may need to read sources closely and take notes on specific parts of the text or you may need to see the big picture and synthesize across sources.

Synthesizing Across Sources

A synthesis matrix allows you to easily recognize connections across sources. Each row of the chart is one source. Read down the columns to make connections across sources.

Close Reading Sources

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