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Recording the Information
We all have different ways of recording information etc.:
- Cards with notes.
- Photocopied articles with text highlighted with notes.
- Laptops, PDAs, etc.
Many researchers may find citation managers useful. These tools allow you to create collections of citations by easily importing references from online databases.
Many of these tools allow references to be stored and organized in folders. They will also format a Work Cited / Bibliography in many styles including APA and MLA. A list of some of the most popular options is provided below.
Citation Managers This link opens in a new window
List of citation managers available for free to students and faculty members
Taking Notes, etc.
Some Tips on Recording the Information Found, on Taking Notes etc.:
- It is sometimes sufficient to browse the text quickly. The introduction or conclusion often give a gist of the thesis and main
points. Still, often a researcher must read much or all of a work, especially if it is of an
authoritative or technical nature.
- Begin with most
recent studies and work backwards. A recent article’s list of
references or bibliography might provide you with valuable works to
- If the report/article has an abstract, read it first.
trust your memory. Record all research. You'll never remember who said what if you neglect to take
- Write down the complete citation
for each work. Don't forget the page nos. for later use in the notes and bibliography. For
Internet citations, note the URL.
- Avoid "grandfather" citations. Return to original source.
- Write all direct quotations precisely, word-for-word. Use quotation marks. Failure to put a direct text
in quotes (or to credit the author) sets the stage for
- Avoid copying too many direct
quotations. Most of the review should be primarily in your
own words with appropriate documentation of others’ ideas.
not stress just a single source or two. It is usually important in a literature review to provide
evidence you consulted and used a wide range of resources.
- For a contentious topic, present the opposing positions. Be objective. Do not overemphasize one side.