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Mini-Module: How to Avoid Plagiarism

Taking Notes

Skills for Success logo 2Taking Notes Page 4 of 7

It is very easy to lose the reference to a source - or to forget that something is not actually your own words or idea. 

Consequently, it is a good idea to get into the habit of taking good notes. 


So, when you are taking notes:

  • Note carefully the publication details
  • Record the page numbers of the source
  • Make it obvious what's you and what's the source. 

Watch the video below to see one way of doing this.

Video: One way to take notes

The transcript of the video is at the bottom of the page.  

Another Way to Take Notes

Notetaking technique example

Another way to make notes is to use a table with two columns. Put the source at the top of the page, then in the left column you can copy and paste and put the page numbers. In the right column put your own thoughts, comments, critical analysis, paraphrases, references to other sources, etc.


Now try this activity. You can see below seven solutions to common problems with taking notes, but you need to find the problem and drag it to the correct box. 


Transcript of the video:

  1. Put the full source reference at the top of your page of notes.
  2. Put the page number of the source into your notes page.
  3. Only then should you copy and paste into your notes.
  4. Change the font colour immediately so that you can see straight away what's you and what's from a source.  
  5. When you turn the page, put the new page number as a heading in your notes.
  6. Then you can think about pasting.
  7. Again, change the font colour.
  8. Add your own thoughts, comments and other references in the normal black font colour.