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Graduate Student Academic Writing Guide

Recommended Writing Resources

Writing Tips

Tips for Taking Notes

Taking notes:

  • Use abbreviations, acronyms, or incomplete sentences to record information to speed up the note-taking process.
  • Write down only the information that answers your research questions.
  • Use symbols, diagrams, charts or drawings to simplify and visualize ideas

Forms of Notetaking

Use one of these notetaking forms to capture information:

Summarize: Capture the main ideas of the source succinctly by restating them in your own words.

Paraphrase: Restate the author's ideas in your own words.

Quote: Copy the quotation exactly as it appears in the original source. Put quotation marks around the text and note the name of the person you are quoting.

Why Outline?

Oultines provide a means of organizing your information in an hierarchical or logical order.

For research papers, a formal outline can help you keep track of large amounts of information.

How to Create an Outline?

To create an outline:

  • Place your thesis statement at the beginning.
  • List the major points that support your thesis. Label them in Roman Numerals (I, II, III, etc.).
  • List supporting ideas or arguments for each major point. Label them in capital letters (A, B, C, etc.).
  • If applicable, continue to sub-divide each supporting idea until your outline is fully developed. Label them 1, 2, 3, etc., and then a, b, c, etc.
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