Suggestions for Note-taking

(taken from Fairfield University's Dimenna Nyselius Library "Note Taking Tips "):

  • Write down the citation of your sources. For each source you use, keep track of the bibliographic data--for a journal article, it's the author, article title, journal title, volume and page numbers. For a book, it's the author, title, publication place and date. For an Internet site, it's the author, the title of the web page (if any), the sponsoring organization, the web site address, the date it was last updated, and the date you last looked at it. One handy tip: once you've printed out the article or web site, or copied part of the book, write the complete citation (author, title, etc.) directly on your copy. That way you'll have it once you're ready to do your works cited page.
  • Take careful notes. Distinguish sentences/passages you're quoting directly with *big* quotation marks, or by color- coding them with a highlighter. Be sure to note who you're quoting. And when paraphrasing, highlight or mark those passages to distinguish them from your own ideas--which you can mark by writing or typing the word "ME" next to them.
  • Keep a research log.On a separate sheet of paper or in a separate document, note the different databases/catalogs/search engines you use when doing research, as well as the combination of terms you use for each source. This will come in handy when you're trying to remember what database you found that perfect article in, and will also come to your defense if you're ever unjustly accused of plagiarism.
  • Don't toss your notestill the semester is over. You never know when you'll need to look back at something, or (worst case scenario) provide proof that you didn't plagiarize.

Southern Miss Student Handbook

The University of Southern Mississippi's Student Handbook includes a section on plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense and may cause you to receive a zero on an assignment and even to fail the entire course. Your professors have access to tools that help them determine whether or not you are copying from other sources and they know how to search the Internet. Don't ruin a potentially passing grade by taking a short-cut and cheating.

The University of Southern Mississippi Student Handbook: >> Academic Policies >> Plagiarism:

Citing Sources


Fox, Tom,  Julia Johns, Sarah Keller. Cite It Right: The SourceAid Guide to Citation, Research, and Avoiding Plagiarism, Osterville, MA: SourceAid, LLC, 2007.

Harris, Robert A. The Plagiarism Handbook : Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism, Los Angeles, CA : Pyrczak Publishing, 2001.

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