Welcome to this guide about how to make notes strategically and effectively for long-form writing projects such as dissertations and theses.
Note making (as opposed to note taking) is an active practice of recording relevant parts of reading for your research as well as your reflections and critiques of those studies. Note making, therefore, is a pre-writing exercise that helps you to organise your thoughts prior to writing. In this module, we will cover:
When you think about note taking, what comes to mind? Perhaps trying to record everything said in a lecture? Perhaps trying to write down everything included in readings required for a course?
Note making is an active process based on the needs of your research. This video contains seven tips to help you make brilliant notes from articles and books to make the most of the time you spend reading and writing.
You might consider structuring your notes to answer the following questions. Remember that note making is based on your needs, so not all of these questions will apply in all cases. You might try answering these questions using the note making styles discussed in the next section.
Answer these six questions to frame your reading and provide context.
Answer these six questions to determine your critical perspectivess and develop your academic voice.
Answer these five questions to compare aspects of various studies (such as for a literature review.
There are many styles for making notes. Over time, you will learn the formats that work best for you. You might find that a particular style works better for specific tasks, such as organising your ideas before you write. You might try using these styles to answer the strategic questions listed in the previous section:
Further sites that discuss techniques for note making:
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