CRLS Research GuideCambridge Rindge And Latin Research Guide
Making Source Cards
Tip Sheet 4
Ask these questions:
What are they?
They are index cards (you can also use notebook pages, a word processing document or database document) on which you put all of the information you will need about all the sources you use.
Why will I need them?
- identify the sources of quotations and ideas for citing your sources later (giving credit to your sources).
- find sources again if you need them.
- make your works cited (a list of the sources from which you used borrowed material in your project).
How to do it:
Code each source its own number, starting with the number 1. You will later link your notes to these code numbers.
Sample Source Cards:
There are many, many different types of sources: books, websites, videos, tv shows, people, to name a few.
Below are examples of source cards for two different kinds of sources. If you do not know how to create a source card for a source you are using, look at the tip sheet called Making a works cited list for guidance on which information you should be included.
It is useful to take notes on index cards because it gives you the flexibility to change the order of your notes and group them together easily. You can buy a few packages of 3x5 or 5x7 index cards at most drugstores or stationery stores.
1. Write the subtopic heading of the note at the top of each note card. (see Tip Sheet 11: Creating Subtopic Headings)
2. Write only one main point on a note card
3. Only write information directly related to your Statement of Purpose. (see Tip Sheet 9: Writing a Statement of Purpose)
4. Write only essential words, abbreviate when possible.
5. Be accurate: double check direct quotes and statistics.
6. Identify direct quotes with quotation marks and the person's name.
7. Bracket your own words [ ] when you add them into a quote.
8. Use ellipsis points (...) where you leave out non-essential words from a quote.
9. Distinguish between 'fact' and 'opinion'.
10. Include the source's number on the card (see Tip Sheet 4: Making Source Cards)
11. Write the page number of the source after the note.
12. Use the word 'over' to indicate information on the back of the card.
Sample note card: