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Making the Card Meaningful

If you are doing research you might as well buy cards at least 4"x6" that you can get some information transferred onto. You need information arranged the same way on each card so you can look at them quickly and are able to sort them as needed. Therefore, you may want to arrange information as follows:

  1. Upper right corner of the card: Use this area for the address of the information you are including on the card. You will write the Dewey Decimal Code or Library of Congress Code or whatever the specific source address is. You may be writing a complete web address.
  2. Main body of the card: Start with the author's name. Write the last name, first name, middle initial. If the material comes from a magazine or newspaper, write the name of the article next. Then the name of the magazine or newspaper or website. Write the name of the book here if it is a book. Then write any information you would need in the event you had to find the information again. For instance, publication date, which edition it is, volume or issue number, and the page numbers the information you are using can be found. If you have maneuvered into a complex website for the information, you need to record the final complete website address where you found the information.
  3. Upper Left corner of the card: Number every card you do in sequence. So if you are just starting your research and are on the first card, place the number "1" in the upper left corner. Your next card will be "2" and so on. Do not put more than one source on a card. The goal is not to fill up the space on a card; the goal is to be able to move them around in order as you work on your outline. The information you record will be important when it is time to complete your Bibliography. So keep that in mind and be thorough in recording this information.
  4. You have just completed your Bibliography card. As you begin to actually take your notes from a source you will start with a blank index card and you will write first that number you wrote in the upper left hand corner of the Bibliography card that you assigned to this source. So if you are starting with your number "2" source, you would write that number in the upper left corner of your blank index card. This tells you that you got the information from that source and you don't have to record all of that detailed location information again.


Last Updated: 08/20/2013

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