You will be creating three types of index cards to organize your research:
A. Source Cards
B. Section Marker Cards
C. Note Cards
A. SOURCE CARDS: Check that each source is written on a separate index card (either 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 size is your preference).
1. In the top right corner, number each source. On your Note Cards you need only write this number from now on.
2. In the top left hand corner of the Source Card, indicate the kind of source: book, periodical, reference, non-library, or computer.
3. Add a "Service Note" (S.N.) to describe the data contained.
B. SECTION MARKER CARDS: Using your Preliminary Outline, organize a file of index cards into Section Marker Cards.
1. Make a separate Section Marker Card for each sub-thesis and topic sentence in your outline.
a. The Section Marker card for the first topic sentence in the first essay of your outline looks like this:...................Under Development....................
b. The next Section Marker Card is for topic sentence I.B. Continue until you have a Section Marker Card for each topic sentence in your outline....................Under Development....................
2. After each Section Marker Card, insert four or five blank cards. These will become your Note Cards. When you find information that will support a topic sentence, you'll write that information on a Note Card in the section for that topic sentence.
C. NOTE CARDS: Make one Note Card for each piece of information you find that supports your topic sentences.
Go to a source and check the index.
1. If you find information that will support one of your topic sentences, go to your card file and pull out a blank card from behind the Section Marker Card for that topic sentence.
2. Carefully read the relevant information in the book.
3. Either copy a quote exactly or CLOSE THE BOOK and paraphrase the information you find. Write your notes on the blank Note Card using the following format:
D. FINAL CHECK
1. Each section behind each topic sentence Section Marker Card must have a variety of different types of sources to support the topic sentence.
2. The support for each topic sentence should have one consistent view. If a contradiction in ideas exists, use the following criteria to decide which view is the best: