How to prepare note-cards for research paper?

When writing a research paper it is a good idea to prepare note-cards before you begin writing the paper so that you know your thoughts will flow perfectly throughout the paper. This will lessen the time it takes you to write the paper, but it will also ensure that you get the proper research, facts, and citations in the paper as needed.

List your thesis and your points

After you have thought of your thesis, clearly write it on one note-card. Afterward, list all the points you have found that support your thesis. List each one on its own note-card and list it clearly. This will help keep your thoughts organized.

List your supporting facts and citations

After you have listed your points, write down all of the facts you have, giving each one its own note-card, and placing it behind the point that it supports. On the back of each "fact card" write down the source where you got the information. Put it in the proper format for the paper's "Works Cited" or "References" section so that when you go to list them, they are in proper order already and the way they should be written out. By doing this ahead of time you're giving yourself time to correct any mistakes in the citation before it goes on your paper and is turned in for a grade.

Create a work list

After you have written the cards as described above, create a work list by using them. To do this, you will list your hypothesis in the introduction paragraph. That should be the only thing from your note-cards that goes in this paragraph. After, list each point you'd like to make, then the facts supporting said point, in separate paragraphs. Sometimes it will be necessary to break points up into a few paragraphs. For example, if you have a point that has four facts to support it, either cut one out totally, or make the point two paragraphs with each one having a supporting fact listed.

Cut out redundancy

After you've made your work list, go through your stack of cards and take out the facts that aren't as strong or may repeat themselves. A more concise paper is always a better paper, even if it means you wasted time researching these facts. It's better to invest too much time than not enough.

Using note-cards to help you write a research paper is a sound way to ensure you will get all of your points properly listed and that your citations are correct. Using the above method, you can write a well-rounded, well-researched paper in no time.