Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Succeeding in postgraduate study

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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus