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How to Create Note Cards


									How to Create Note Cards
       Steps to Researching

• Find an article that helps answer
  what the problem is or solutions to
  your problem

• Write the documentation
  information on the note card
                 Source Card

Type of Source                             Source #

MLA Documentation of Source
Write this exactly how it will look on the Works
Cited Page
              Source Cards
1) Number all of your sources
2) Number as many cards as you have
3) Write what type of source it is at the top of
   the card.
              Source Card

Magazine--Internet          3
            Source Card

Newspaper                 6
              Source Cards
• Use your Writing Research Papers or the
  MLA Handbook to write the correct form
  for each type of source:
  –   Magazines
  –   Newspapers
  –   Books
  –   Electronic
  –   Etc.
              Source Card

Magazine                                      3

Truman, Harry. “Why students don’t learn.” Time 24

  Oct. 2000: 104-109.
• Shoemaker, David. “A Tale of Two
     Children.” Phi Delta Kappan 84.6
     (Feb. 2003): 466-468. GALILEO.
     Ebscohost. Masterfile Premier. Berkmar
     Media Center, Lilburn, GA. 20 Feb.
                Information Card
Slug—how you are going to use the info in your paper   Source #

Information from source, “direct quote,” paraphrase,

                                                 pg # (unless
        Heading of Info Card
1)Only a word or “slug” goes in the upper
  left-hand corner.
2)The slug pertains to what the whole of the
  card is or to the section of the paper this
  info belongs. How are you going to use the
  info on this card in your paper?
3)Ex. History, Laws, Opposition, direct
  quote(support), intro info
            Information Card

Slug (It can be more than one word!)
              Information Card
History of Problem (intro)
   Stats-Solution #1

      Cause of Problem

 D.Q. opposition to solution #1
                Info Card
• In the upper right hand corner, put the
  number of the source
• In the lower right hand corner, put the page
Information Card


                   pg #
          Information Card

History                       5

                             pg 4
          Information Cards
• Do not try to cram as much info onto one
  card as you possibly can.
• Put ONE (1) piece of info on each card or
  one quote.
• Do not write on the backs of the cards*
• Use your cards to organize your paper!!!
              Taking Notes
• Summarize—put the main ideas into your
             own words
• Paraphrase—phrase by phrase statement in
             your own words
• Direct quote—exactly what it says, misspellings
  and all; Enclosed in quotation marks
• Personal comment—(*back of note cards, separate
                         note cards)
                  Taking Notes
• As you examine each source, make a separate note of
  each fact or quotation you might want to use in your
  paper. Unless you are really good at manipulating text
  with your computer or laptop, it might be wise to use
  index cards when preparing notes.
• Be sure to identify the source of the information on the
  listing (include the author's name and page number on
  which the information appears).
• Try to summarize the information in your own words
  (or paraphrasing); use quotation marks if you copy the
  information exactly. (This rule should apply whether
  you are copying a great deal of material or only a
• Give each listing a simple descriptive heading.
  How do I decide what to write on
          my note cards?
• First, do a rhetorical triangle

Purpose: Explaining a problem, identifying
  solutions, convincing one solution is better than
  the others.
  How do I decide what to write on
          my note cards?

• THEN! Write your thesis statement OR
  your problem and some ideas for your
  solution on a note card—always keep this
  visible, so you remember your purpose for
  researching. ALWAYS REMEMBER
• Read the article and see what information
  deals with your problem or solution
• (See article “Extracting Research”)
• Highlight it or cut and paste it into a word
  document (which becomes your info cards)
• Write that on the info card
     What are the differences among
      quoting, paraphrasing, and

     These three ways of incorporating other
     writers' work into your own writing differ
     according to the closeness of your writing to
     the source writing.

All paraphrasing info can be found at OWL at Purdue!
• Quotations must be identical to the original, using a
  narrow segment of the source. They must match the
  source document word for word and must be attributed
  to the original author.
• Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source
  material into your own words. A paraphrase must also
  be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material
  is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a
  somewhat broader segment of the source and
  condensing it slightly.
• Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into
  your own words, including only the main point(s). Once
  again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to
  the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter
  than the original and take a broad overview of the
  source material.
       How to use quotations,
    paraphrases, and summaries
• Practice summarizing the following essay, using
   paraphrases and quotations as you go. It might be
   helpful to follow these steps:
1. Read the entire text, noting the key points and
   main ideas.
2. Summarize in your own words what the single
   main idea of the essay is.
3. Paraphrase important supporting points that come
   up in the essay.
4. Consider any words, phrases, or brief passages
   that you believe should be quoted directly.
      We will discuss this later.
• There are several ways to integrate quotations into
  your text. Often, a short quotation works well
  when integrated into a sentence. Longer
  quotations can stand alone. Remember that
  quoting should be done only sparingly; be sure
  that you have a good reason to include a direct
  quotation when you decide to do so. You'll find
  guidelines for citing sources and punctuating
  citations at our documentation guide pages.
   Why use quotations, paraphrases,
          and summaries?
Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries serve many
  purposes. You might use them to . . .
• Provide support for claims or add credibility to your
• Refer to work that leads up to the work you are now doing
• Give examples of several points of view on a subject
• Call attention to a position that you wish to agree or
  disagree with
• Highlight a particularly striking phrase, sentence, or
  passage by quoting the original
• Distance yourself from the original by quoting it in order
  to cue readers that the words are not your own
• Expand the breadth or depth of your writing
• Writers frequently intertwine summaries, paraphrases, and quotations.
  As part of a summary of an article, a chapter, or a book, a writer might
  include paraphrases of various key points blended with quotations of
  striking or suggestive phrases as in the following example:
In his famous and influential work On the
  Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud argues
  that dreams are the "royal road to the unconscious"
  (page #), expressing in coded imagery the dreamer's
  unfulfilled wishes through a process known as the
  "dream work" (page #). According to Freud, actual
  but unacceptable desires are censored internally and
  subjected to coding through layers of condensation
  and displacement before emerging in a kind of rebus
  puzzle in the dream itself (page #s).
• A paraphrase is...
• Your own rendition of essential information and ideas
  expressed by someone else, presented in a new form.
• One legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate
  documentation) to borrow from a source.
• A more detailed restatement than a summary, which
  focuses concisely on a single main idea.
• Paraphrasing is a valuable skill because...
• It is better than quoting information from an
  undistinguished passage.
• It helps you control the temptation to quote too much.
• The mental process required for successful paraphrasing
  helps you to grasp the full meaning of the original.
 6 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing
• Reread the original passage until you understand its full
• Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase on a note
• Jot down your commentary on the back of your note
  card—how does this help defend, oppose, support your
  argument or opinion. At the top of the note card, write
  your slug to remember how you envision using this
  material in your paper.
• Check your rendition with the original to make sure that
  your version accurately expresses all the essential
  information in a new form.
• Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or
  phraseology you have borrowed exactly from the source.
• Record the source (including the page) on your note card
  so that you can credit it easily if you decide to incorporate
  the material into your paper.
           Some examples to compare
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):
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
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).
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.
           Examples from essay
• Example summary: Roger Sipher makes his case for
  getting rid of compulsory-attendance laws in primary and
  secondary schools with six arguments. These fall into three
  groups—first that education is for those who want to learn
  and by including those that don't want to learn, everyone
  suffers. Second, that grades would be reflective of effort
  and elementary school teachers wouldn't feel compelled to
  pass failing students. Third, that schools would both save
  money and save face with the elimination of compulsory-
  attendance laws.
• Example paraphrase: Roger Sipher concludes his essay
  by insisting that schools have failed to fulfill their primary
  duty of education because they try to fill multiple social
• Example quotation: According to Roger Sipher, a
  solution to the perceived crisis of American education is to
  "Abolish compulsory-attendance laws and allow only those
  who are committed to getting an education to attend"
          Here are sample answers for the paraphrasing
1. According to Jacques Cousteau, the activity of people in Antarctica is jeopardizing a delicate natural
    mechanism that controls the earth's climate. He fears that human activity could interfere with the
    balance between the sun, the source of the earth's heat, and the important source of cold from Antarctic
    waters that flow north and cool the oceans and atmosphere ("Captain Cousteau" 17).

2. During the twenties lawlessness and social nonconformity prevailed. In cities organized crime flourished
    without police interference, and in spite of nationwide prohibition of liquor sales, anyone who wished
    to buy a drink knew where to get one. Musicians like Louis Armstrong become favorites, particularly
    among young people, as many turned away from highly respectable classical music to jazz. One of the
    best examples of the anti-traditional trend was the proliferation of young "flappers," women who
    rebelled against custom by cutting off their hair and shortening their skirts (Yancey 25).

3. The use of a helmet is the key to reducing bicycling fatalities, which are due to head injuries 75% of the
    time. By cushioning the head upon impact, a helmet can reduce accidental injury by as much as 85%,
    saving the lives of hundreds of victims annually, half of whom are school children ("Bike Helmets"

4. Matisse paintings are remarkable in giving the viewer the distinct sensory impressions of one
    experiencing the scene first hand. For instance, "The Casbah Gate" takes one to the walled city of
    Tangier and the Bab el Aassa gateway near the Sultan's palace, where one can imagine standing on an
    afternoon, absorbing the splash of colors and the fine outlines. Even the sentry, the bowaab vaguely
    eyeing those who come and go through the gate, blends into the scene as though real (Plagens 50).

5. How much higher skyscrapers of the future will rise than the present world marvel, the Sears Tower, is
    unknown. However, the design of one twice as tall is already on the boards, and an architect, Robert
    Sobel, thinks we currently have sufficient know-how to build a skyscraper with over 500 stories
    (Bachman 15).
            Information Card
Government Interference-(Problem)                  5
A major thrust of this reform is a massive push for
attaining standards by means of testing, remediation,
further testing, eliminating "social promotion," more
testing, eliminating frills such as music for students
like Anne, and still more testing
      Commentary about card
• On the back of your card, write two
  comments that relate to the point you are
  trying to make OVERALL!!
                Sentence Stems
•   This supports the idea that . . .
•   This shows that . . .
•   This highlights the idea that . . .
•   This opposes the solution that . . .
•   However, this shows that . . .

           Using Quotations
• Even on your note cards, you must enclose
  all direct quotations in quotation marks.
• Always copy the quotation exactly as it
  appears in the original source. Copy
  spelling, internal punctuation, and
  capitalization even if the original contains
• Before you write something on a note card:
   – Ask yourself how it helps explain your problem or
   – Ask yourself how it helps explain your solution or
     support your side of the argument
   – Ask yourself if it helps show the downside of your
     solution or shows the opposing side of your argument
   – You have to continue to ask yourself how this relates to
     your thesis statement! Otherwise, you are recording
     info for nothing!
              Test your abilities
• Thesis/Topic: The effects of day care on children under
  two years old.
Which of the following studies fit the paper’s scope:
• A study of children under the age of two who spend at
  least 20 hours a week in day-care centers in Houston,
• A recent study of the training, qualifications, an experience
  of day-care workers in New York City.
• A study of the personalities, development, and sleeping
  habits of 3,000 babies ages two or under and who spend
  more than 10 hours a week in day care.
• A study of the personality differences in one-year-old
  identical twins in southern California.
                    Try Again
• Thesis/Topic: The photographs of the Civil War
  taken by Mathew Brady and his assistants.
   – Brady’s assistants too most Civil War photos; Brady is
     almost blind.
   – History of development of photography.
   – Brady authorized to accompany Union troop and
     document war.
   – Brady quote about going to Bull Run battlefield: “ A
     spirit in my feet said ‘Go’ and I went.”
   – Walt Whitman’s poems about the Civil War.
   – Brady’s portrait photographs of Abraham Lincoln.
   – Causes of the Civil War.
• Your listings — whether they appear on index
  cards or within some format on your computer
  (see computer note card file)— will now
  provide the authoritative basis for your paper's
  content and documentation.
• By arranging and rearranging the listings and
  using your slugs, you may well discover a
  certain order or different categories which will
  help you prepare an outline.
• You may find that you need additional
  information, or that some of the listings may
  not be appropriate and should be set aside or
       Evaluate Your Note cards
• Is every card directly related to a heading or
  subheading on my working outline?
• Do I have too little information for some
• Do I have too much information for some
• Does the information in the note card really fit the
  heading I have put it under?
• Do I need to move the card to a different heading,
  or maybe discard it entirely?
Now ask yourself what areas you need to go back
  and research, so you can fully explain your
  problem and prove your solutions.
Now arrange them in the order you think you are
  going to use them in your paper.
• How many source cards do I need?
• How many information cards do I need?
• When do I need them?

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