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Research Note Cards The following presentation offers suggestions on how to format your note cards, based on Mr. Bowles experiences both as a student writing.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Note Cards The following presentation offers suggestions on how to format your note cards, based on Mr. Bowles experiences both as a student writing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Note Cards The following presentation offers suggestions on how to format your note cards, based on Mr. Bowles experiences both as a student writing papers in high school, college, and graduate school and as a teacher assisting students through the research process over the years. He has found that following these steps helps the writer more accurately present authors’ words, ideas, and sources. They also help to prevent against accidental plagiarism. This will come in handy for you next year when you write a research paper and again during your senior thesis!

2 Remember the Rule It is important to remember the following: Include only one source per card Write only one heading per card Include only one speaker per card Record only one type of notes per card

3 With that in mind, there are six “key” steps in formatting each note card. #1#2 #3 #4#6 #5

4 Step 1: Source Code I suggest labeling your source and any note card containing information from that source with a circled number. The first source that you use becomes source #1, the next is source #2, etc. Some people like to color coordinate their sources, label them with letters instead of numbers, or draw shapes and symbols. I suggest using numbers because you have an infinite number from which to choose. Put this source code in the upper-right-hand corner

5 Step 2: Your Heading This is a phrase indicating what the particular notes on this card are about. This is usually different than the title of the source. You may have several headings from the same source depending on its length and scope. I encourage you to think of your heading as one of the subcategories of your research paper outline (since this is going to be how the headings will be used later on in the project). Another option is to write your headings in the form of a question. This helps keep you focused on writing down the answer in the notes section of the card. You may want to hold off on this until after Step 4. Sometimes it is easier to come up with a heading after your notes have been written down on the card. For our purposes, you will list Greek God, Goddess, or Monster’s Name.

6 Step 3: A Code For The Type of Notes You Have Taken In the upper-left-hand-corner, you should circle an S, Q, or P to indicate what type of notes are contained on this card. An “S” indicates that this is a summary card. A summary should be in your own words and provide an overview of the section you read (think of this like a topic sentence for a paragraph of your paper dealing with this information). Summaries are at least 1/3 rd the length of the information in the original text. A “Q” indicates that this is a direct quote card. This means you have copied the information word-for-word from your source. * Remember to use quotes around the words you STEAL! A “P” means that you have paraphrased the information by writing it in your own words. A paraphrase should be about the same length as the information in the original text. *No quotes needed, but remember to always give credit to the author(s).

7 Step Four: Taking Notes I suggest putting your source aside or turning it over while you write your summary and paraphrase cards to avoid unconsciously copying words and sentence structure. Compare your card to the original when you are done taking notes. When you are writing both direct quote and paraphrase cards, make sure to include brief biographical information about the speaker or person whose ideas you are restating (this may or may not be the author of the source). Doing this establishes this person as an expert and gives your information credibility. I suggest listing the biographical details below the notes that you have taken.

8 Step Five: Personal Memo Sometimes, when you are taking notes, there are thoughts running through your head that will be important to remember later on. This could be a note identifying a need to verify the information in another source, it could be a reminder of a follow-up angle to pursue, or it could be an idea for where this information might eventually appear in your paper. I suggest highlighting this “memo” note to yourself so that you don’t overlook it and so that you don’t confuse it with the other notes on your card.

9 Step Six: Marking Page #s You need to record the specific page (book) or paragraph number (online sources) for each bulleted piece of information. This is especially important when you have information from several pages or paragraphs on the same note card. Write the page or paragraph number on the left side of the vertical line across from its corresponding bulleted information. Use page numbers if you are using print sources like books, magazines, or hard copies of newspapers. Use paragraph numbers if you printed a formatted article from an online database or webpage.

10 Your Sample Note Card After Step Six P1 Balkin explains that over the last decade billions of viewers have watched reality TV episodes in which participants argue, struggle and expose the most intimate details of their lives. Some even do the unthinkable like eating bugs and rats. Reality TV has turned into a contest where participants compete against each other to win love or money. This is because competitiveness and materialism have become two of the most prominent aspects of American society. Newer reality TV shows set a poor example by focusing on and rewarding physical beauty over spiritual strength. - Karen F. Balkin is the editor of At Issue: Reality TV ¶ 5 ¶ 9 Make sure I add some examples in my paper of shows that do this. How has Reality TV changed over time?

11 Other advice: Record Where You Found Your Information In case you lose any of your sources or your note cards, I suggest either keeping a page in your notebook or file on the computer on which you keep track of both the retrieval information and Works Cited entry for each source. The retrieval information is simply to aid you in relocating the source for any particular note card to determine the context or add to what you have already written. This step is not necessary if you print or photocopy and save every page of every source you use. It is helpful to type the Works Cited entries as you go so that you are sure you have them all when you are ready to type your final draft. For this assignment, you will do this on the worksheet provided by Ms. Koch

12 Final Suggestions I advise numbering your note cards to be able to keep track of them and to be able to identify them easily when it comes time to writing your outline. I suggest doing this on the back side of the note card so that it does not cause confusion among all of the other information listed on the front. I also suggest punching a hole in the corner of each note card and threading them on “O-ring” clips or rubber- banding your note cards in groups by heading/section. Keep track of all of your note cards. Large manila envelopes that close work best. You will also need to submit all of your sources with your final draft, so I encourage you to print or photocopy the relevant pages from each one.


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