Tips on note taking:
- Take notes while reading. This will help you be critical and formulate your ideas about an article while keeping track of references.
- Remember that future you will completely forget what past you was thinking, so vague, one word notes will not be helpful. Use descriptive details.
- Find a note-taking method that works for you. Pen and paper? Digital highlighting? Google doc? There’s no right or wrong way.
Questions to ask yourself as you consider what you have read:
- How does this article fit into the scholarly conversation on this topic? A scholarly conversation is the discussion between experts about a developing topic. How does this article compare to other, similar articles that you have read?
- Do you agree with the author’s conclusions? While you are reading, it is important to be open to learning new concepts. New information can call into question old beliefs.
- What are the weaknesses of this article? Be prepared to critique the article you are reading, keeping an eye out for flaws in reasoning or poor scholarship.
- What is the author’s purpose in writing? What is the argument? Who is the audience?
- Is this article what you were looking for? The resources you find while doing research should impact your search strategy. Whether or not this article is relevant to your assignment will help you decide what to search for next.