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Step 3: Document

Record Your Findings

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For your research project, you need to cite and document evidence to support your argument. Evidence can be what the text says explicitly as well as what the text infers. Depending on your assignment, you might draw evidence from fiction or non-fiction sources to support your analysis, reflections, and research. During this step, you will document important facts that you will cite in your paper.


When you take notes you should be summarizingparaphrasing, and indicating if you are quoting a source.

As you take notes, think about:

  • The central ideas or information in what you are reading and provide a summary of key events or ideas that develop.
  • Series of events and if the events caused one another.
  • How what you are reading is presented: sequentially, comparatively, causally etc.
  • How key sentences, paragraphs or larger portions of the text contribute to the whole meaning of what you are reading.
  • The author's point of view. Does he or she have bias?
  • What evidence does the author provide? Does it make sense? Can you find holes in his or her reasoning?

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