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WAMS Research Guide: Note-taking

Tutorials and links to help you navigate the research process successfully.

Useful Online Resources

NoodleTools Online Notecards Tutorials

NoodleTools User Guide Tutorials : View the tutorials to learn how to use this online research environment.

NoodleTools provides an online research environment with tools for online note-taking, outlining and paper writing through Google Apps for Education (Google Drive.)  Not only can you generate online notecards, but you can also organize your notes into groupings, tag your notes  and create an outline for your paper using your notecards.‚Äč

 

Good Note-taking Skills

Understanding Note-taking Purpose

Good Note-taking Skills

Good Note-taking Skills

·     Facts in Phrases and Own Words

Copying sentences word for word is plagiarism and is stealing another person's work.  In the working world, it is illegal and will get you in a lot of trouble.  Learning now to paraphrase notes in short phrases in your own words will save you potential trouble in the future.

Even changing a few words of a sentence is STILL PLAGIARISM because you are still stealing the author's original sentence structure and idea.


Example:   "By not giving up her bus seat to a white man on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks's quiet defiance triggered the escalation of a major social movement by black Americans seeking equality under the law. Parks, a reserved, hardworking black woman, became one of the great contributors to the growing Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s." (from Prejudice in the Modern World Reference Library, Detroit: UXL, 2007)

Plagiarized Notes: 

       by not giving up her seat on a bus to a white man, Rosa Park's silent defiance caused the escalation of a social  movement by blacks seeking to be equal under the law.  (some minor word changes but same structure/idea.)


Good  Notes:  (short phrases in own words that identify the main points of the information that related to my topic - Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement.)

  • riding on bus, didn't give up her seat to white man
  • December 1, 1955
  • significant cause of 1950s Civil Rights movement
  • blacks wanted to be equal to whites by law
  • RP - important person in the beginnings of the CRM

 

·   Identify Subtopics or Thesis Points (Prongs):

Identify the subtopic (or cause or effect) that each bullet point note provides information on.  Use a specific word as your subtopic field that describes the subtopic/cause/effect.

Example Thesis:  Brown v Board of Education led directly to desegregation of schools in the South.

Subtopic = desegregation

Subtopic = Brown

 

·    Use Quotations Marks Around Direct Quotes:

If you want to directly quote from a source, then write the sentence(s) exactly as they appear in the source, putting quotation marks around the entire quote.  Make sure to identify the page number(s) the quoted text appeared on.

·   Page Numbers:

Always identify the page number for any notes you take from a print source or a database article.  Most web pages do not have page numbers.  If your teacher requires a page number, just use Page 1 for web sources.

Approaches to Note-taking with NoodleTools

Approaches to note-taking

NoodleTools online note-taking feature has been designed to be flexible so you can customize it to meet your personal note-taking style.

·     Thinking about and understanding the information you are reading:

In the Create New Notecard screen - First, explain and summarize the quote or data from your source,  paraphrasing it in your own words, so you will understand it better.  Then use the My Ideas field to apply the information to your research needs, reflecting on what you’ve just learned to identify questions or what you want to investigate next.

·   Know how you want to structure your research paper:

On the Notecard tabletop screen - Identify your main ideas and then use the Pile feature to group your notecards into piles based on these main ideas. 

·    Not sure how you want to organize your information yet:

On the Works Cited (Bibliography) screen - Add in your source citations and then create notecards by clicking New Note link next to the source you are using. You can organize your notecards later from the Notecard tabletop screen. Use the Tags feature to identify possible ways of grouping the notecard later into piles.  

·   Thinking about ways to organize your information:

On the Notecard tabletop screen - Use the Search feature (by tag, keywords, etc) to identify related notecards.   Create piles of notecards based on these relationships by  clicking the Add to Pile button. Play around with the organization of notecards in piles and  within a specific pile until you are satisfied with the order and grouping of your information. You can also identify any gaps or holes in your information that you need to research more.  


Summarized from NoodleTools User Guide, Copyright (c) 2012 NoodleTools, Inc., All Rights Reserved