Structure guides


Organizing research

Organization strategy

When researching for an essay, it is important to be organized from the very beginning. The deception is thinking that you can keep it in your head while you start your research and begin organizing later. You will lose too much useful information and waste precious time. Begin by preparing your organization strategy and then, once that is in place, get hardcore into the research.

Index cards as research organization tool

I common tool for organizing research is the index cards. This is now a very traditional, albeit archaic method. There are plenty of computer programs that can substitute better for index cards. Even keeping everything in either a spreadsheet or a document has more advantages.

Tags for better card organization

However you choose to notate your research, you will have to have a system of marking. Here is one you can adapt to your needs or copy straight off and use.

As you can see, the list of tags will aid you in organizing the cards into groups. The title is large and in the middle at the top, so when you have a stack of cards and you thumb through them you can readily see the titles. The citation is set by itself at the bottom, already formatted and ready to copy and paste into your document.

Do not underestimate the simplicity of this tool. Use it and save a lot of time and headaches. Ignore it as trivial and suffer your own dreadful fate! It’s your choice.

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