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Business Plagiarism Tutorial: Note Taking

Note taking tips

Note Taking

taking notesTaking accurate notes is the first step in avoiding accidental plagiarism. Good note-taking skills allow you to identify exactly what information came from what source, and will help prevent any last minute misunderstandings, lapses in memory, or confusion over the origin of a given point, quotation, or idea. Good notes can also save a lot of time because they provide a reliable record for double checking sources.

To take better notes, it is important to:

  • Record all bibliographic information in your notes to avoid having to go back and search for the source when you're in the process of writing your essay/assignment.
  • Make it clear when you are using your own words and when you are citing a source directly (you may want to color code your notes to indicate this important distinction).
  • Keep track of what ideas and quotations go with what source and where (even when paraphrasing a source, be sure to keep an accurate record of page numbers!).


When making photocopies or scanning pages from reference books, copy or scan the title page and the back of the title page at the same time so you will have all the information you need to create your citation.

Many researchers find it helpful to create citations for each source as they are accessed instead of waiting until the paper is completely written. To learn about citations, read the page on opens new windowCiting Sources.

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Adapted from collaborative project funded by the Middlebury College Center for Educational Technology and developed by opens new windowColby College, opens new windowBates College and opens new windowBowdoin College. Please direct questions and enquiries to

opens new windowCreative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.