I took notes which
__ related directly to my topic
__ answer most of my questions
__ paraphrase or summarize the source
__ are in my own words
__ put quotes around the author's words
__ have citations that I have in my Easybib.com account
Use the Note Card method.
Use a notebook (single side)
Use a word processor
Use Easybib's Notetaking Feature
How do I put what I'm reading in my own words?
When you are taking notes, don't write down word-for-word. Don't copy phrases unique to the style of the original author. Try these tips:
Quotes, Paraphrases, and Summaries
There are three ways of incorporating source material into your writing:
From Purdue University's OWL site:
The original passage:
Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.
A plagiarized version:
Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.
This is a common example of plagiarism. The student just changed certain words. (Ex: "overuse" is replaced with "use too many.") This is considered plagiarism because the student is using the exact meaning and sentence structure of the author! The student also did not provide a citation.
A legitimate paraphrase:
In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).
An acceptable summary:
Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).
What is Plagiarism?
To "plagiarize" is to present someone else's writing or ideas as your own. The most common example is copying something word for word, including phrases that are unique to someone's writing style without quotes. But you also plagiarize when you use someone's ideas without giving them credit. When you don't cite your sources, you tell the audience that YOU came up with these ideas, not the original author or artist.
But I didn't mean to plagiarize!
Students sometimes plagiarize unintentionally. You may know that copying and pasting from the Internet is plagiarism. But plagiarism also includes:
- copying phrases unique to someone's writing style without the use of quotes
- stating ideas and information that were researched, organized, and interpreted by someone else.
Even if you don't use a direct quote, you still need to cite the source. In fact, anything not considered common knowledge, needs a citation. Rule of thumb: If you didn't know it before you read it, it isn't "common knowledge."