Friday, January 20, 2006


There's an excellent thread at Ask MetaFilter right now about how to take notes from books when you're researching for an essay/thesis etc. I had almost the exact same discussion with Bron yesterday, about how to organise research and notes and quotes and all the other stuff associated with writing an essay. I have a pretty good memory for quotes and facts, so I can usually remember where it was I read that uber quote on the role of J.B. Priestley's radio broadcasts following the evacuation of Dunkirk (actual scenario from my WWII essay last year). But I know I can do a lot better in organising my thoughts and focusing my research, and the suggestions in this thread should help with that.


matthewonlocation said...

This looks very useful for an absolute moron like me who's idea of notetaking is typing out long paragraphs from the text in the hope that there is information in it. From there you find that the information is useful but I have typed it out incorrectly. So I look up the page number to only find out that I didn't record it down. So all I had achieved was a big waste of my time!

Thanks for the help Mads - God knows, I need it!

The Scientist said...

I have some simple techniques of my own, hope they help! :-p

1. Study science
2. See 1.
3. Get Endnote
4. See 1.

I really wish I had got onto number 3. earlier (would've avoided a few 4am finishes last year), but I think I managed the other few rules pretty well :-)