Taking Notes with the Trash -n-Treasure Method:
The key to good note taking is writing what is important in as few words as possible and then being able to use the information later.
First, you will need to have a good organizer on which to take the notes. Consider one of these:
� A data chart (good for recording factual information found in books, encyclopedias, and web sites)
� A word processed file (you'll need to view and print) You can create one like it with your word processing program.
Try to take notes electronically if possible so you don't have to rewrite every time you revise your paper.
Next, it is time to take notes from your sources. You should write only those words that answer your question. Save your energy for using the notes in the final product.
Here's how to write only the words that answer your questions. It is called
Trash-n-Treasure and is very easy to learn.
1. Find the section or page that you think will answer your question.
2. Read the first sentence. Does it answer or help answer the question? If not, go to the next sentence because it is trash (to you).
If it answers the question, look at words and phrases. Ask yourself: �Which of these words and phrases answer my question?� Those words and phrases are the treasure you are seeking. You don't need to use any of the words that are just filler.
3. Record the �treasure� words on the appropriate place on your note taking organizer.
4. Go to the next sentence and repeat numbers 2 and 3. Do this until the section is finished.
Now you must cite your sources! This means that you must give credit to the books, web sites, and other materials that you used. Ask your teacher or librarian how you should cite your sources. If your teacher or librarian do not have a particular way they want you to cite, use this one. If you use one of the note taking organizers above, they have a space for citing the source.
Use the Citation Machine!
Barbara A. Jansen � 2001, 2002 Big6 Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.