Skip to main content

University Library

SCI 120: A Watershed Year

Course guide for SCI 120

Too many tabs?

Too many brower tabs...

Keeping notes can not only help you keep track of your sources, but it can also help you learn, and to see connections, correlations, and gaps across all your research.

There are as many ways to take notes. The specific tool you use to take your notes isn’t as important as the notes themselves. Choose the method that’s the most comfortable for you. No matter the method, make sure that you record:

  • Bibliographic information: author, title, date published, publisher, and URL (if it’s a website)
  • Quotes: direct text straight from the source
  • Comments: your thoughts and questions 
  • Paraphrasing: information from the text in your own words

Cornell Notetaking

How should you take notes on your research? One tried-and-true method is the Cornell method.

The Cornell Note-Taking System was Invented in the 1940s by Cornell University education professor Walter Pauk, author of How to Study in College, Cornell Notes involves dividing each page up into three sections: one to paraphrase the lecture's main ideas, one to summarize those ideas, and one to write questions. After writing down the main ideas, immediately summarize and add questions about the content. Then, while putting it all together later, try to answer those questions.

Watch this video to learn more: