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Research Tools: How To Research

Taking Notes (Collecting Information)

It is important to learn to take effective notes, both during classes and for research.

Taking good notes saves you time, can prevent you from plagiarising and helps you develop your own ideas. 

How to create Cornell Notes 

Below is a very informative video on how to take and organise effective notes by a student (9:17) particularly for study.

The worksheets below will help you collect and organise the information you find into notes.

Cornell Notes - PDF Generator

The Steps to Research Effectively

Work through the Guidelines below for your Task. Some steps may need to be repeated. 

Use the questions below as a guide and repeat for each section of the task:  


1. Do I understand all the key terms of the question? Find the definitions of any terms you are unsure of. 

2. What am I being asked to do

3. What information do I need?



4. Is there background reading I can complete from the textbook to help me better understand?

5. How will I find the information? What search terms / words will I use?  

      What links are on LibGuides?

      Is this information available in Books? 

      Internet Searching - What key words will I include in my search? 

      E.g. Include Australia or .au for Australian websites.
      More infomration here.



6. Is the information I find relevant and reliableWho is the author? What does the URL look like? Is this scientific information?

         .gov = government website

         .edu = education website

         .com = commercial website 

         .org = organisation

7. Record the relevant information in your notesTips here and here.

8. Add the details to your bibliography. Use Word Referencing. Written guide here or video here.

9. Select information from more than one source.



10. Ensure you have answered the question completely. 



11. How will I best present this information? Diagram, text, concept map, table, etc. What different diagrams can I use?

See the LibGuide page on Presentations.

More Research Tips

IMMERSE yourself in the topic to begin with. Read all the information you can on the topic. Ensure you have background information and an understanding before you begin to solve or answer questions. Is there a textbook chapter on the topic?

Work as part of a TEAM. Even on individual tasks it can be useful to bounce ideas with your peers, ponder questions with them, pass on useful websites, etc.

FOCUS when you are researching. Remove all distractions, turn off phones, find a quiet place that you enjoy being in. Does your local library have a sunny spot inside? 

Have a GO before asking for help. You might surprise yourself and the satisfaction for solving a problem yourself is enormous.

Set a GOAL at the end of each work session and clearly note what needs to be done next. This will save you time both next work session and in the mean time when you are wondering and deciding what you should be doing next.

USE your Library. We are here to help. Ask us for more individual advice.

Books in the library