Download slides and handouts from the Managing Your Research Workshop.
What information can you use to take effective notes?
How do you find the main idea?
A great place to start with this is the article’s abstract. An abstract is a brief summary of the article, and you can often find keywords and main ideas here.
Some articles also have subject terms associated with them, and you can use these to pinpoint keywords and main ideas as well.
Look for thesis statements or paragraphs, often at the beginning and end of the article, that summarize the arguments being made.
Image courtesy Neil Conway, via Flickr and the Creative Commons
There are a lot of tools out there to help you keep your sources organized and under control.
Managing the web
Organization tools specifically for students
You organize your sources and use them to form an argument in a process known as source synthesis.
Source synthesis is an iterative process too. And the process of pulling all your sources together into an argument involves doing the following things: