Note-Taking From Articles

Watch and Learn

This tutorial from the University of Leicester introduces methods and techniques to gain control over your course reading and note-taking.

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Reading and Note Making

Top Tips for Reading and Taking Notes


  • Throw out your highlighter or at least hide it. It promotes less critical reading.

  • Keep an eye out for keywords or specific terminology in the text. Try to write your own definition for each.

  • Abstractions (larger ideas or themes) are usually tied to the reason the author is writing. What is the author’s motivation?

  • Differentiating High level Ideas vs. Specific Details is a key task for reading-to-write.

  • Select details from the article or relate details from your own background knowledge to explain these higher level ideas.

  • Question - How does the author approach the subject matter? What kinds of words are used? (What is the methodology? How are conclusions validated by university research techniques?)

  • What is the overall structure of the author’s work? How do the separate parts fit together?

  • Look at points in the article that feature repetition or summary; these are moments when authors often focus on their larger argument or thesis.

Giltrow, J. (2002). Academic writing: Writing and reading in the disciplines. Peterborough, On: Broadview Press.

Writing from your research readings

Enhance your Learning

Dr. Stephen Chew addresses ways to put effective learning strategies into practice.

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Putting Principles for Learning into Practice

Enhance your Wellness

Build your self-awareness to determine the optimum length of a study session and what times of day you are most alert, creative, and motivated. To explore your unique patterns and flows, track your days and note your energy level and feelings throughout the day. The better you know yourself, the more you can structure your time for efficiency and ease.

To develop your capacity to learn successfully, check out services offered by Student Success Coaches and the Learning Strategist Student Success Services.

For more wellness resources, see

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Improve Your Writing and Research

Improve Your Writing and Research

Assistance to be a better writer while you find and cite information accurately

Value for Me?

Higher-level interpretive processes are required in reading and writing university research papers.

Learn how to critically approach your research reading by varying your note-taking to include concrete details and abstract concepts.

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Note Taking

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