Note Cards and Bibliography Cards
Research writing is about content and following directions.
research project grade will be 50% submission criteria and 50% content
Although you are being required to follow a process that
is an "old-fashioned" way to generate a research paper, you should be aware of "bibmakers"--sites
that help generate bibliography entries. Many of these "Bib makers" are
available through a search. One site that goes further to guide you
through a research process is "Noodletools," for example.
What is a bibliography? It is. . .
- A list of the works of a specific author or
- a. A list of writings relating to a given
subject: a bibliography of
Latin American history. b. A list
of writings used or considered by an author in
preparing a particular work.
- a. The description and identification of
the editions, dates of issue, authorship, and
typography of books or other written material. b.
A compilation of such information.
Sooooo. . . .as you search
library catalogues and indices for periodical articles, books,
and internet resources on the topic that you are learning about
in order to write a well-researched and documented paper, you
must keep a record of promising sources as you come across them.
The most practical way to do that
is via "bib cards."
The name and location of every
single promising new source that you find should be written on
its own bib card.
Keep every bib card you fill out,
whether you actually use information from that source or not.
If you don't use information from
the bib source, just mark it so you know you did not or will not
use it. (A big X on the card is a good way to do that.)
Requirements for Bibliography Cards:
Bibliography Cards are small index cards ( 3" X 4") used to record the
bibliographic information for each primary and secondary source you use so that you can
alphabetize your cards and type up your Works Cited page after you finish writing your
paper. Each card will contain different information, depending on whether your source is a
book, journal, magazine, or internet source. Follow the MLA Documentation Section in the
Foresman Handbook or A Guide to MLA Documentation, 4th ed. . Some
other very helpful sites can be found at the Purdue Online Writing Lab:
Go to the
Purdue Online Sources for
Writers--to scroll down the menu at that site until you find what you need.
In addition to having patterns for bibliography
entries, there are also many "bibliography makers" online. These
provide "fill-in-the-blank" forms. Just do a "bibliography maker"
search to find these.
When you finish gathering your bib sources, take notes on notecards as described
below, and make out a separate bibliography card for each source, both the primary (the
story or poems) and the secondary sources (authoritative criticism).
Requirements for Notecards
Notecards are large index cards used to record your ideas on your primary source as
well as ideas you find in your secondary sources. Set up your notecards as follows:
- Use 4 X 6 inch cards.
- Four bits of information should go on the card:
1. the source of the
- Be sure to put put a shortened title of the source at the top of the card so that you
will know where each card came from when you write your paper.
2. exactly WHERE in the source
the material was borrowed from:
- In taking notes from secondary sources, be sure to put the page number of the material
so that you can set up your citations accurately, without having to look back at the
- In taking notes from primary sources, put the line number of the poem on the card, if
your primary source is a poem or put the page number of the story if your primary source
is a short story.
3. the bit of borrowed
- Record one idea per card, so that when you write your paper, you can organize your
notecards and write the paper from the cards.
- Never write so much on a card that you are required to go to another card to finish the
- You may paraphrase, summarize, or quote, but be sure to place quotation marks around ANY
words you extract straight from the text so that you won't accidentally plagiarize in the
4. a title for the
content of the note:
- An abbreviated generalization or label that does not need to repeated in the borrowed
- If possible, the generalizations for the headings on your outline might match the
headings on your notecards.
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