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In this video, you will take notes on the credible sources you found for your paper.

Credible sources are ones you identify as reliable, accurate, and true.

If you aren’t sure if your sources are credible, return to the previous video to learn more about evaluating sources.

Taking notes about the sources you read helps you process information, develop ideas, and organize points for your paper.

Because Google documents are stored in the cloud, you can update them anytime from any computer or mobile device.

To get started, open your Brainstorming document.

From a new tab or window, open Google Drive.

Find the file in your drive.

Or, type the title of the file -- “Brainstorming” -- in the Drive search bar.

Click on the file to open it.

If you haven’t brainstormed ideas and researched sources for your paper, create a new document.

From Drive, select “New” and “Blank document.”

Name the document “Brainstorming.”

To make it easier to navigate your document, add headings and a table of contents.

At the top of your document, highlight the word “Brainstorming.”

Then, select “Heading 1”, or another heading style from the toolbar.

Each heading or subheading will appear in your table of contents.

Choose headings that work best for you.

Change the heading style of any other sections in your document, too.

Create a new heading beneath these sections.

Type “Research Notes” and change the heading style to match the “Brainstorming” and “Sources” headings.

Then, insert a table of contents to make your document easy to navigate.

Click beneath your paper topic.

Then, select “Insert” and “Table of Contents.”

Your table can have page numbers or clickable links.

Choose the “links” option.

The table of contents appears where you placed your cursor.

It lists each heading in your document.

The blue text links to each heading in your document.

Try it out.

Click “Research Notes.”

Clickable headings help you navigate to specific sections of your document.

You can even make a separate subheading for each source.

As you add new headings to your document, refresh your table of contents.

As you read credible sources for your paper, take notes.

You might want to: Create a bulleted list of the main points in the source.

Summarize a source in paragraphs.

Or use a table to organize main ideas, details, and summarized points.

No matter how you format your notes document, make sure to summarize the author’s main arguments.

You don’t need to write down every bit of information you find -- focus on what is relevant for your topic.

You may want to use direct quotations from your sources to support the points in your paper.

To easily save quotations from a website to use later, copy the text from the website and paste it into your document.

Highlight the text on the website.

Right click and select “Copy.”

Click back to your document.

Place your cursor in the document, and select “Paste without formatting.”

This pastes the text in the same font style and size as your document.

Place quotations around the text you copied and pasted, so you remember this is a direct quotation.

You will need to give credit to the author in your paper so that readers know where you got your information and to avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism is using the thoughts or words of someone else as your own.

Avoid plagiarism by keeping track of your sources and making it clear which are your words, and which are someone else’s.

Take notes in your own words, rather than copying and pasting large passages from sources.

Only use direct quotations in your paper to provide more detail or support for your points.

You might use direct quotations to: Convey an author’s meaning accurately by stating their exact words; Present a well-stated passage whose meaning would be lost if you rephrased it; Or to show that an expert researcher supports your point.

Otherwise, summarize whenever possible.

Your paper should be your own words, not just a collection of other people’s ideas.

The more you summarize what you read, and develop your own ideas as you take notes, the more material you will have to write a full draft of your paper later.

When you’ve finished collecting notes from credible sources, move on to the next video to organize this information into an outline for your paper.

Now, it’s your turn: Add headings and a table of contents to your brainstorming document to make it easy to navigate.

Take notes on your sources using your own words.

Identify direct quotations that will support the main ideas in your paper, and copy them into your notes.

Update your table of contents as you add more headings and information.


  1. Add headings and a table of contents.
  2. Take notes from your sources.
    • Paraphrase as much as you can.
    • Record direct quotations sparingly.