Step 8. Manage Your Materials
Notes & Quotes
Establish a note-taking system that documents author, content, and page numbers of quotations.
Keep track of which ideas belong to you and which come from other sources. Organize the quotations and references you want to use in your paper and build your bibliography or works cited page as you read. Reconsider your tentative thesis. Be selective - be sure the sources you use are of good quality and are of appropriate level and depth.
Establish a System
Find a system of organizing your materials and notes that works for you. Here are some ideas:
- use colored note cards or post-it notes to keep track of one author, theme, or idea throughout all your sources
- send citations and articles to your own email account; create an inbox folder for each assignment
- create your works cited page first; when you locate relevant books, articles, or websites, copy the citations into the document
- use a zip or thumb drive to save recent drafts of your paper and works cited page
- keep a copy of your paper and works cited page in your email inbox; each time you make changes, send a new copy to yourself and delete the older draft