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TCC Library: Staying organized while you research

Library "How do I...?"

Welcome to TCC Library "How Do I...?"

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Taking notes and keeping track of sources

The moment when you’re most likely to have all of the information you need to cite a source correctly is the moment when you first find the source. Develop a plan for capturing that information that makes sense for you. Use a method, like one of those listed below, to note a source's title, author(s), and/or link so that you can find that source again.

  • Old-fashioned note cards are still popular for a reason. They’re stable, permanent and flexible.
  • Notepad or note taking apps on your phone are easy to use and create searchable files.
  • Spreadsheets are a popular choice. They are also searchable and can be sorted.
  • Web-based word processors (Google Docs, linked below) have many of the advantages of their desktop counterparts, and they can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Many students email sources to themselves and use their email archive as a way to keep track of sources.
  • The more powerful citation management tools (Zotero, Evernote, for example, linked below) will also allow you to save notes about your sources.

Library "How do I?" credits

The TCC Library "How do I?" guide is adapted from the Library DIY project created by Meredith Farkas, Amy Hofer, Lisa Molinelli and Kimberly Willson-St. Clair at Portland State University Library. Several Library "How Do I?" pages are adapted from pages within the Portland Community College Library "How do I" project, as well as the Oregon State University Libraries' Library DIY project.

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

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