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Using Sources & Avoiding Plagiarism: Note-Taking Tips

Note-Taking Tips

In your notes, you should always distinguish exactly what you take from sources and what you add in the form of responses or commentary. Scrupulous note-taking and citation practices will lessen the chances of plagiarizing as the result of your own negligence. Some suggested practices:

  • Insert set of quotation marks surrounding the borrowed material [“_____”].
  • Use “Q” (for “quotation”) in front of the quoted passage. 
  • Place quoted source materials in boldface, or in a color other than black.
  • Place quoted material in italics and all of your own writing in regular font.
  • Take notes directly in Zotero, which enables you to link your notes with the source in which you found them.

Always append a page number and other identifying information! This will save you time in the end since you won’t have to retrace your steps to locate citational information later on. 

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