Skip to main content

Research guide: Toolkit 3

Your guide to the research process and use of digital tools to use and create information effectively and ethically.


Moving from notetaking to essay writing

Steps in the note-taking process and preparing to write

Take Notes
on the themes which you identify as being directly relevant to the question. Remain flexible on adding or omitting themes as your understanding of the topic develops.
Cross Reference
your notes according to their themes and make interpretations on their significance and validity in relation to each other and the question.
Draw the connections
between the literature/ themes and consider how you will logically develop your argument in answer to the question.
Write a plan,
and begin writing with all your evidence, interpretations and cross-referencing in front of you.
Write up the argument
you have already carefully considered using the necessary evidence. Only include highly relevant quotes. (go to next)


Source: Unilearning.

Notetaking - tips for senior students

Select  Paraphrase  Summarise  Synthesise  Source

Avoid plagiarism by using the Cornell notetaking template

How to use the Cornell Notetaking Template

1. Enter topic and source information at the top.

2. Take dot point notes in the centre section.

3.  Go back over your notes and highlight the important bits.

4.  Write key points in the left column.

5.  Write a brief summary of the main ideas in the bottom section.

How to summarise

Click on the image below.

For more examples and exercises on how to summarise, click here.

Write powerful paragraphs with the PEEL method


This approach can be used to develop a short answer response or to write an essay.

An easy way to take notes synchronised with videos and your Google Drive

Go to the website here