The librarian grades student notecards in NoodleTools to enforce the importance of avoiding plagiarism. When she is grading your work, consider this grading criteria before you turn in your work.
- Did you complete the correct number of cards on time? Cards lose 10% per day till the student completes the required number of cards. Then the librarian grades them.
- Each card shows that you are THINKING, not just copying and pasting. The best way to fail the notecard assignment is to turn in notecards that solely record quotes (especially if they are not particularly beautifully worded and won’t end up as quotes in your research paper.) Show the transformation of their exact wording into YOUR wording on the notecards that the librarian is grading, please, because the whole POINT of the exercise is to get you to gather information that is recorded in your own words.
- Preferred: incomplete sentences/ outlining in the section used for “paraphrasing.” This is the fastest way to take notes that you can turn into (your own original) complete sentences LATER when you take more time to craft lovely long sentences and paragraphs in your paper. Guards against plagiarism!
- However, if you decide to make your paraphrase with complete sentences on the right side of the NoodleTools template, then LEAVE THE ORIGINAL WORDING FROM YOUR SOURCE in the “quotation” box for comparison.
- Use a separate card for each fact/idea. Yes, this results in many cards– possibly as many as 100 for your project. If you are changing facts, launch a new notecard. If you are likely to include that fact in a new sentence or paragraph, launch a new card.
- Quote only as necessary (if you plan to present the exact wording in your project.) Paste it WORD FOR WORD with exact page references or paragraph numbers for MLA. Those quotes go on the LEFT side of the note-taking template.
- If you quote the source in order to insert the original wording into your own presentation, you have demonstrated selectivity based on the fact that…
- the original was vividly, creatively, memorably worded, perhaps with figurative language, or an effective and moving simile or metaphor
- the original provides a BEAUTIFULLY worded original insight; rewording or paraphrasing it would significantly lessen its impact
- the quoted words of the source (or dialogue) powerfully and succinctly support your argument
- the quoted wording demonstrates your own deep analysis and close study of the source’s points in order to strengthen and detail your thesis, or provide an example.
- Carefully record notes with the resources from which they came with PRECISE page numbers (not broad, inexact page ranges.) (Easiest if you launch your note card directly from your list of citations– at the “bibliography” screen.)
- No need to repeat the URL if you already put the stable URL into your citation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1 : What if the source does not have page numbers?
A: Record the paragraph or section number, instead. Examples:
- If the source is divided into recognizable SECTIONS, record the section number, i.e., sec. 3
- A common way to handle it is to record par. 7 if the fact was in paragraph seven of an un-paged source.
- You would write pars. 5-6 if summarizing the material provided in paragraphs five to six.
Q2 : Is it okay if my first set of notecards are all from the same source?
A: Yes! Many sources result in 20-40 notecards and I don’t expect note cards from all your sources yet. It’s fine if all 10 first note cards come from the same source.
Q3 : My notecard is REALLY brief! Is it too short?
A: There’s almost no chance a notecard could be “too short” as long as the title combined with the note contain enough meaning and combine to be a fact. The more frequent problem is that the notecard is too complex and long and has too many disparate facts/concepts on it. That makes the librarian worry that your paper will reflect the exact order of fact presentation as the source without integrating and synthesizing facts and perspectives and examples from other sources.