3.2 Filtering and organising
3.2.3 From note taking to note making
Good essays are built on good notes. When researching your essay, you will want to both 'take' and 'make' notes. What is the difference between 'taking' notes and 'making' notes? And how does one make the leap from note taking to note making? Here is a brief overview:
|The purpose of taking notes||The purpose of making notes|
|Examples of note taking||Examples of note making|
In order to move from note taking to note making, one must develop useful habits and routines. This is where the Researcher's Reflection Space (RSS) comes in handy. This is a place where you can paraphrase what you have read, create collages, plot data on graphs or make mind maps. The point is to make your notes meaningful for the essay that you intend to write (see Figure 3.2.3a)
Note card system
One strategy of note taking and making that you may want to try is the a note card system, where you create a card to catalogue every idea or quotation you come across. By creating such cards with a 'tagging' system, you can begin to organise your ideas and sources. Click on the sample note card below.
TipsFor note taking and making, you may need these tools
- highlighter pens
- sticky notes (post-its)
- note cards
- note-making app
- cork board (bulletin board)
Digital or paper?
Are you going to create notes by hand or digitally? Research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer suggests that you are more likely to retain and internalise new information if you write by hand. See this article for more about this phenomenon and their article.