Get a general idea of your topic before you begin to take notes. A good place for general information is your country book, or Encyclopedia Britannica or a reference source from our database.
After you have a general idea of your topic, write 5-8 note cards that give the basic facts of your topic. This is the time to answer the who, what, when, where questions. Look at the questions you brought to the library and begin to group them into categories.
Who is important to your topic?
Hiking could include not only hikers, but also park rangers because they keep the trails safe and attractive.
What is your topic about?
Colonial Williamsburg could include the facts about the historic site and facts about early settlers.
When did your topic take place?
World War II would be 1939 - 1945 in Europe
Where are the places in your topic?
George Washington could include Mt. Vernon, Yorktown, Washington DC, George Washington University
As you are writing down the basic facts, keep a list of questions that you think of, and would like to research more deeply. Also, double check your original questions, did you find the information you were interested in finding? Do a more specific search now on those questions. These should be about 2-5 cards.
Note Card Reminders
Notes are in your own words.
Notes are in complete thoughts.
One complete thought per card.
Each card should have the proper heading information.