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Books have their own destiny
Terentianus Maurus
200 AD
Roman grammarian

Writing series

Organizing research with note cards

The "Note Card System" can be very useful
when it comes to organizing information for a term paper or even a short two or three page paper.

By using this system, you create note cards from blank 3x5 or 5x7 index cards that you fill with information pertinent to the subject that you are researching.  The organization of the information can readily be adapted to use with word processing...

  • In the upper left corner of the card, "code" the topic of your paper, and where in the outline it may fall

  • In the upper right corner, place the author's name and/or title and page number

  • In the body of the card, enter one single fact or thought you'd like to include in your paper

Make sure the information is expressed in your own words,
unless it is a quotation;
Use good sentence structure:
this will save you time when you start to write the paper

  • Organize the cards to coincide with the outline of your paper

  • Write the term paper following this sequence
    Use topical, concluding, and transitional sentences to link the information on the cards

  • Keep a separate set of cards
    with the complete information of books, magazines, films, etc. These will be used for entering footnotes and endnotes, and when compiling the bibliography

Seven stages of writing assignments:

Index | Develop your topic (1) | Identify your audience (2) |
Research (3) | Research with notecards (3a) | Prewrite (4) |
Draft/write (5) | Revise (6) | Proofread (7)

Reading and research series

Reading critically | Prereading strategies | SQ3R reading method |
KWL reading method | Marking & underlining | Reading difficult material | Interpretive reading | Reading essays | Reading fiction | Narrator/character types |
Speed and comprehension | Researching on the Internet | Evaluating websites |
Organizing research: computers | Organizing research: note cards