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Note Taking and Paraphrasing - Skills Guide

Critical thinking and reading

What are note taking and paraphrasing?

Note taking is when you create your own version of someone else's work to help you in your studies.  It can take lots of different forms - you might write a list of bullet points, create a mind map, or paraphrase what someone else has said.

At its most straightforward, paraphrasing is taking an idea that someone else has written about and putting it into your own words.  There are two steps to this: firstly you need to understand the original idea that you have read, and secondly you need to write it again in your own words.

Why do I need to learn them?

Both note taking and paraphrasing help you to take other people's ideas and use them in your own work.  This might be taking the ideas that your lecturer explains in a lecture and using them in your revision notes.  Or it might mean taking the ideas that you read about in a journal article and using them in an assignment.  Remember, whenever you use someone else's ideas in your work you must cite and reference them correctly.

How do I develop these skills?

Take a look at the pages of this guide to find information and support in developing these two skills.