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Reading Well and Taking Research Notes

How to read critically and well and take good research notes. Includes information about tools that can help you do this effectively on your computer or mobile device.

Your paper as a bridge

In your paper, think about creating a smooth bridge for your reader. The reader starts without knowing your claim, but plank by plank you provide evidence and interpretations in a clear sequence so that your reader can step across to your side of the river, the side where everyone knows your claim and believes it to be credible.


Those planks on your bridge are comprised of evidence and your interpretations and justifications of that evidence. Here are the four ways that you can use sources while you're building your bridge for the reader.

Adapted from Joseph Bizup’s 2008 article, “BEAM,” and John Bean’s 2011 book Engaging Ideas, page 239.

Drafting and Writing

Here are some tips from the Writing Center. When you are ready to begin drafting and writing, please contact them at: