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Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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4.2.1 Note-taking

Develop good habits by making notes in your own words. This will also help your understanding. Make sure that you take a record of the source of the ideas or information you have found (including the web address if working with online information). If copying directly from an online source into your notes, you could use highlighting to remind you that these are not your own words and need to be rewritten before use in your assignment. If there is a particular quote that you would like to use, make sure that you place this in quotation marks in your notes, and add the reference details (site, page, paragraph number, etc) to your notes as you will need these for the citation.

Here are some further helpful tips to consider:

  • As you study and write your notes, do not copy chunks of text directly out of an article. Instead, always write your study notes in your own words and jot down the book or article your notes are drawn from.
  • Check your writing against the articles you are using as sources. If the words you have written are too similar to the original, you should try to revise your own wording.
  • Once you have taken notes from the original source, put the original article away and work only from your notes.
  • All the information, quotes and examples that you use in your assignments must be properly referenced, so whether you quote an author directly or mention their work, you must include an in-text reference (giving the name of the author and date of publication) and add full publication details in a reference list at the end of your assignment.