Note Cards

One of the requirements for writing both the junior and senior research papers in the English Department is to create at least twenty note cards from the sources of information that you use.  One one side of the note card you will copy the information that you have determined to use as evidence in your research paper along with the page number that the information was located on.  The reverse side of the index card contains the cited source that you used for locating the information.  The note cards become an instrumental tool for formulating the footnotes and the bibliography required in your research paper.   The note cards are due on DAY 19 of the syllabus along with the research paper.

In recent years we have understood that the note cards impede some researchers.  Thus you have the alternative to produce a “note-card” page on Google Docs that will be submitted separately from the research paper on Turnitin.  In this alternative you will list the source according to MLA documentation standard that you find evidence in and provide as many anticipated examples of evidence from the text that reference source you may use in your final draft.  

Making Note Cards

Ask these questions:

Why do it?  It is useful to take notes on index cards because it gives you the flexibility to change the order of your notes and group them together easily. You can buy a few packages of 3×5 or 5×7 index cards at most drugstores or stationery stores.

How do I do it?

1. Write the subtopic heading of the note at the top of each note card. (see Tip Sheet 11: Creating Subtopic Headings)

2. Write only one main point on a note card

3. Only write information directly related to your Statement of Purpose. (see Tip Sheet 9: Writing a Statement of Purpose)

4. Write only essential words, abbreviate when possible.

5. Be accurate: double check direct quotes and statistics.

6. Identify direct quotes with quotation marks and the person’s name.

7. Bracket your own words [ ] when you add them into a quote.

8. Use ellipsis points (…) where you leave out non-essential words from a quote.

9. Distinguish between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’.

10. Include the source’s number on the card (see Tip Sheet 4: Making Source Cards)

11. Write the page number of the source after the note.

12. Use the word ‘over’ to indicate information on the back of the card.

Sample note card:


Copyright © 2004 Holly Samuels All Rights Reserved