Time management

Taking notes

Using various sources for note-taking

Different sources of information require different approaches:

Books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

  • Scan or read the article first, then take notes.
  • Be selective- avoid copying word for word, unless you need a specific quote. Consider what information you need and record it in your own words.
  • Photocopying from books  is not an effective way of taking notes. If you’ve not read it you’ve not learnt it.
  • If your notes on a topic are long and detailed make a revision sheet containing the basic facts, while it is still fresh in your mind.

Television and Radio

Notemaking on television programmes is particularly difficult as you need to take your eyes off what is happening in order to write your notes.

  • Record the programme if possible (you might be able to obtain a copy from the Library)
  • Take only outline notes on the first viewing.
  • Use the index counter to mark sections of interest and return to them later to expand or fill in gaps.

Computer Based Material

  • Beware of downloading information from CD Rom and On-Line Databases without checking you have the correct information.
  • Download then edit as appropriate.
  • Record the full URL, file name or disk reference number on your notes for your own use. You may need to refer to your source again.

Remember: include references to the source of your research material in your notes. 

This will aid quick retrieval if you need to refer to the material again and ease of reference when you cite your sources.