English Literature: Avoiding Plagiarism - Good Note Taking

  • Last Updated: Apr 7, 2020 1:50 PM
  • URL: https://knox.libguides.com/English
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Good Note Taking

Taking proper notes when you are doing your research can be KEY in avoiding unintentional plagiarism.

  • Take your notes ON the actual article you are reading 
  • Clearly indicate the exact article or text you are working with if your notes are in a notebook or on cards 
  • Include enough information so that you can identify the text - so not just an author, but also an article title at a minimum. 
  • Put quotations around any words or phrases that are not your own in your notes.  Otherwise later you may forget that those were quotes and think they were your words or response to the piece.
  • Another option is to use a code Q- if direct quote ; P- if your paraphrase of someone's work; M-if it is your thought or response. 
  •  Have the actual articles or texts there with you when you are working from notes when writing your final paper, so you can double check on quotations and ideas from your notes to make sure you are not plagiarizing and that you are quoting accurately. 
  • Leave enough time to write your paper. If you are doing it late the night before it is due, you don't have time to check your sources to make sure you are quoting accurately and to make sure your prose isn't half remembered language from your sources