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Active Reading and Notetaking Skills for Research

This tutorial consists of short instructional videos that introduce you to effective strategies for reading and notetaking for research projects.



This tutorial consists of short instructional videos that introduce you to effective strategies for reading and note-taking for research projects.  

The skills and strategies introduced in this tutorial can be applied to research done for academic, work, or personal projects.  


We’ve organized our tips into the early and later stages of the research process, since our strategies and goals change as we progress in our research from start to finish.



Get started by watching the introductory video to Active Reading and Note-taking for Research.

When reading for research, you will learn how to: 

  • Skim results lists to identify relevant sources
  • Search a source to assess relevance and credibility
  • Skim key areas of a source to gather information quickly
  • Select key sections fo a source for deeper reading and note-taking
  • Study key sections using active reading and annotation to improve understanding and critical engagement

When taking notes for research, you will learn how to:

  • Create a method for organizing sources during the research process
  • Keep track of relevant bibliographic information to cite properly
  • Annotate sources to facilitate efficient reading at later stages of research
  • Adapt your note-taking strategies to your specific research project and goals
  • Summarize and paraphrase research information in your own words
  • Record your ideas in your notes in response to what you are reading 
  • Label and organize your notes to make the writing process easier