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4.3 Annotate and note take

Manage your information
4.1 Why manage your information?
4.2 Record information for referencing
* 4.3 Annotate and note take
4.4 Citations and references
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Annotating and note taking are important academic skills because they enable you to effectively record and synthesise important information from a range of resources such as books, journal articles and lectures.

Notes give an overview of the main points of a work.

Good note taking:

  • clearly and concisely states the main theme of the resource
  • retains any emphasis or focus placed on the topic by the author
  • omits all unnecessary background information or detail
  • records your views on the main ideas.

Annotations summarise the scope and content of a work, and also provide critical comment.

Good annotations:

  • clearly and concisely state the main theme of the resource
  • pinpoint any unique content or comment on what the work contributes to the literature on the subject
  • indicate how the work relates to other resources on the subject
  • include a critique of the resource's credibility and appropriateness to your topic
  • identify how the resource builds your understanding of the subject.

Effective annotating and note taking will assist when it comes to synthesising your information. See Module 5. Synthesise and communicate your information.


Launch Macromedia Flash animationSuggested format for annotating and note taking

View one suggested format for annotating and note taking.

Tips for effective annotating and note taking:

  • record all bibliographic details such as author, title, publisher, publication type
  • record subject terms or keywords
  • include notes, paraphrasing and summaries
  • accurately record page number for each note taken beside the note
  • inlude your comments on the text
  • identify relationships to other literature
  • indicate relevance of main points
  • clearly identify original text
  • clearly and accurately record text for each quote and page number
  • skim the text to identify broad themes.

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