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Literature Reviews

Note taking

It is critical that you develop a reading & note taking system to keep a handle on:

  • what you've read
  • your notes about it.

A common way of doing this is to consistently record for each resource:

  • bibliographic details (although basic, this is a must do)
  • review each resource against a set of relevant questions.

Customised matrixes created with word processors or spreadsheets can be used as can other established note taking methods.

Matrixes will reflect the review questions you ask, so will also vary dependent upon which step of the literature review process you are at. Example matrixes can be found under each tab:

Review questions

Review questions will also help prompt you to record bibliographic data and review resources as consistently as possible.

Like most steps in the literature review process, your questions are likely to evolve as your understanding of your topic deepens.

Example review question lists can be found under:

Bibliographic referencing software

Bibliographic referencing software allows you to download and store reference information as well as PDF documents.

You can also annotate records to store your notes about the reference.

It also allows you to output your references by creating bibliographies and adding citations within your documents in many different referencing styles.

EndNote is a type of bibliographic reference software. The university has a site license so all staff and students can download a copy of the software to their computers while studying at JCU.

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