Using Note Cards

This suggested method of recording information is using note cards. 

Steps for Using Note Cards: 

  1. A. Take your first source and, with its working bibliography card in front of you, begin to read for information.
  2. Select a blank index card for note taking. In the upper right hand corner of the card, write and circle the number from the bibliography card. Underneath the source number, write the author’s last name.
  3. Write a guide word or words in the upper left-hand corner.
  4. For each different guide word, start a new note card. You should expect to have many note cards from each source.
  5. To the left of your notes, write the exact page number or numbers from which you are taking information. You will need the page numbers to give credit to your sources later on in the internal citations. If there are no page numbers, as the source is from the Internet, submit a print out of the source when you hand in your research paper and indicate N/A (not applicable) on your note card.
  6. As you read, write phrases or summarize in your own words to save time and to ensure that your final paper will be written in your own words.
  7. If you decide to use a direct quote, the author’s exact words, use quotation marks on your note card. This will help you to avoid plagiarizing unintentionally.
  8. Repeat this process for each of the sources from your working bibliography. Some sources will not be usable. If you do not use the card as a source, put a big X on its bibliography card.
  9. Use a new card for each source of information, even if the guide word is one you have used before.