Staying Organized While You Research

Taking Notes

The moment when you’re most likely to have all of the information you need to cite a source correctly is the moment when you first find the source. Develop a plan for capturing that information that makes sense for you.

  • Old-fashioned note cards are still popular for a reason. They’re stable, permanent and flexible.
  • Notepad or note taking apps on your phone are easy to use and create searchable files.
  • Spreadsheets are a popular choice. They are also searchable and can be sorted.
  • Web-based spreadsheets and word processors (such as those found at Google Docs or Zoho) have many of the advantages of their desktop counterparts, and they can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Many students email sources to themselves and use their email archive as a way to keep track of sources.
  • The more powerful citation management tools (EasyBib, Zotero, EndNote and Mendeley) will also allow you to save notes about your sources.

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