Taking Quality Notes: Getting to the Heart of the Matter
It’s easy to get off-track when taking research notes. You may do a lot of work, filling pages and pages with information, only to realize that you don’t have what you need, and you really don’t understand the topic any better than you did before you started! Remember, the purpose of doing research is to develop a deep understanding of the topic, and to help you formulate and defend your own ideas.
As you do your assignment, constantly check to see if your notes are:
There are many different strategies for recording information and ideas in your research notes, including:
- Using a graphic organizer
The kind of information that you will include in your notes will vary, depending on your research need and the type of source you are using. For example, you might record facts and figures from an encyclopedia, but record experts’ ideas and opinions from a journal article. Your note-taking style needs to adapt to these different sources and information needs.
What You Need
- Making Quality Notes: Getting to the Heart of the Matter: A summary of the characteristics of quality notes and strategies for taking them.
- Get more help with note-taking with the Note-Taking Checklist page.
- Use the downloadable organizers for Note-Taking from different sources, available on the Note-Taking Templates page.
Find Out More
- University of Toronto Writing Lab: Taking Notes from Research Reading