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Basic Research

Read & Take Notes

As you read your sources, highlight information you might want to include in your research paper or take notes on index cards.

In research articles, pay attention to section titles and words in bold. Sections labeled Introduction, Background, and Literature Review may have information that you can include in your own paper's introduction or background sections. The Results and Discussion sections can provide evidence to support the main arguments you make in your paper.

In books and e-books, look at the table of contents, chapter titles, and index to decide which sections of the book will have the most useful information about your topic.

Create an Annotated Bibliography

Making an annotated bibliography is a good way to organize your research and keep track of your information sources. An annotated bibliography includes a full citation for each source, followed by your notes about it. Use this information from the Purdue Online Writing Lab to get started: