Have you ever spent hours on the web researching for an essay, ending up with no relevant notes nor any idea of the main topics you should tackle?
Taking notes efficiently will help you get started on your next fantastic essay!
To guide your research and make it more efficient, you need to:
Take time to read and understand your assignment
Brainstorm: write down everything you know on the topic
Make a list of subtopics you could focus on
Choose an angle that interests you
Organize Your Notes
You can use different ways to take notes:
Remember: 1 card = 1 topic
Leave some space on each card for your comments, second thoughts, and cross- references
MIND MAPS are a great way to organize your ideas
TABLES: draw a 3 column table with topics/subtopics in the first column, the corresponding info you find in the second, and your personal comments in third
TITLES, SUBTITLES, AND BULLETS: You might want to choose the traditional way of taking notes.
Use Your Own Words
Summarize the ideas in your own words as you take notes.
It will help you:
Understand the topic better
Retain information effectively
Develop your own opinion on the topic
Don't Go Overboard
When you take too many notes, "you risk writing an essay that's full of irrelevant material and getting lower grades."
Only write down information that will help answer your essay question.
Your essay should show your own thinking and not a patchwork of others' ideas.
Organize Your Notes
It's a good idea to organize your notes according to each source as you go along. It's time-consuming and stressful to look for source details at the end.
Open a special page on your computer to record bibliographic info in the course of your research.
What advice should you follow to help you take notes?
Do you have an essay to write?
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