Step 3 - summarising, analysing & organising your readings
It is important that you make notes as you read. You should think about and include the following in your notes.
- What are the main points / theories / key issues raised in the text, eg book or article?
- Summarise the main points the writer is making.
- Take details of any quotes, or page references that you think may be good to use in your literature review.
- Make sure you keep track of all bibliographic information, eg author, date, title of book, publisher / journal, page numbers etc. For further information see Guidelines for presentation of written work .
- Note the way the author has used the original material. If you have copied the author's words directly, make sure you place them in quotation marks and cite the page number.
- What is the author's stated or implied purpose?
- What conclusions has the author made?
- What points support the conclusions?
It is also useful to write down your own thoughts on / about the readings. These are useful when you revisit the notes and / or use them in your writings.
Step 4 - analysing & organising your summaries and notes