Checklist for Effective Note Taking

Use this template for taking notes from the site visit presentations and for making notes from your further reading. This template can be adapted for use in your notebook, as word files, or in reference manager software. Most problems with using sources can be overcome by effective note making.

1. Full publication details (for reference list)

For each source that you read and take notes from (including copied figures and tables), collect the following information where applicable:

  • Author/s - initials and surnames
  • If an organisation is the author, note the full title of the organisation
  • Year of copyright or publication
  • Title of chapter, article, section of website, presentation.
  • Title of book, main web site, journal, conference, report
  • Edition number
  • Volume, issue, series numbers
  • Editor /s names and initials
  • Page numbers (1st and last page for journal articles , and specific for books)
  • Place published (City)
  • Publisher
  • Web address and date you accessed it
2. Give the aim/objective of the source

3. Record information from the source as:




“quotations” + page no.

4. Record your thoughts about the information by considering these questions:

How is this relevant to my report?

Where could I use this in my report (and why)?

Is this similar to what other sources say?

If this is different to other sources, why?

Is this the best piece of information I have, or do I need to find something better (from another source) ?

What don’t I understand and who/what could help me understand ?

What other ideas/understanding arise from this information (i.e. reinterpreting information, identifying issues, relating the information to my client’s needs…)

5. Date you made these notes

Download and print the Checklist for Effective Note Taking

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