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AP Language Passion Project: Note-taking

Good note-taking helps avoids plagiarism

Read the material without taking notes. When you find something useful, write down in your own words what you think the author is saying -- without looking at the source. Then compare your notes to the material. If you have used some of the exact words from the text, put quotes around them. This approach also helps you rely more on paraphrasing or summarizing and keeps you from using too many direct quotations.

Overview of Cornell Notes

Notes Template

Direct Quotes

What is a quotation?

A quotation is an exact reproduction of spoken or written words. Quotes can provide strong evidence, act as an authoritative voice, or support a writer's statements.

Quotations

  • match the source word for word
  • are usually a brief segment of the text
  • appear between quotation marks
  • must be attributed to the original source

When to quote

  • when the author's words convey a powerful meaning.
  • when the exact words are important.
  • when you want to use the author as an authoritative voice in your own writing.
  • to introduce an author's position you may wish to discuss.
  • to support claims in, or provide evidence for, your writing.

Paraphasing

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is a way of presenting information, keeping the same meaning, but using different words and phrasing.

A paraphrase may result in a longer, rather than shorter, version of the original text. It offers an alternative to using direct quotations and helps you integrate evidence and source material into assignments.

Paraphrasing

  • does not match the source word for word
  • involves putting a passage from a source into your own words
  • changes the words or phrasing of a passage, but retains and fully communicates the original meaning
  • must be attributed to the original source

When to paraphrase

Paraphrase short sections of work only; a sentence or two or a short paragraph.

As an alternative to a direct quotation.

  • To rewrite someone else's ideas without changing the meaning.
  • To express someone else's ideas in your own words.
  • To support claims in, or provide evidence for, your writing.

Summarizing

What is a summary?

A summary is an overview of a text. The main idea is given, but details, examples and formalities are left out. Used with longer texts, the main aim of summarizing is to reduce or condense a text to its most important ideas. When to summarize

Summarizing

  • does not match the source word for word
  • involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, but including only the main point(s)
  • presents a broad overview, so is usually much shorter than the original text
  • must be attributed to the original source

When to summarize long sections of work, like a long paragraph, page or chapter

  • To outline the main points of someone else's work in your own words, without the details or examples.
  • To include an author's ideas using fewer words than the original text.
  • To briefly give examples of several differing points of view on a topic.
  • To support claims in, or provide evidence for, your writing.

Source