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Recording Your Findings

After you've chosen a topic and decided what you need to know, you'll need to record and gather the information you find in a format that you feel comfortable working with.

There are many different ways to keep track of the information that you find. Try out some of the ideas below on different assignments to find the one that works best for you.

  • Download or Photocopy material from sources and write citations for sources.
  • Record notes either on paper or in an electronic document (e.g., Microsoft Word or Google Docs), including citation information.
  • Use an Online Reference Management Tool to take notes and keep track of quotations and citations online. For example, try NoodleTools, which you have free access to as a Contra Costa College student. 

No matter which method you use to record information about your topic, be sure to note the identifying information about the source in order to provide an accurate citation. You will need to know:

  • author and/or editor
  • title of book or article
  • if source is a book, name of publisher and date of publication
  • if source is an article, title of journal or magazine, volume number, issue number, and date if given
  • if source is an article or other material from an online database, the name and URL of the database
  • page number on which information appears
  • publication date

Visit the library's citation page for more information and examples illustrating how to correctly cite your sources:

Chapter 1 — Page 10