Doing the PhD

a PORT for Modern Languages tutorial

2. note-taking

Note-taking might sound like an elementary and trivial skill, an academic activity undertaken since the earliest stages of one's education. All this might be true but take a moment to reflect on that time you were writing an essay but your notes proved inadequate. Or that other time that you did not properly note down the source of your notes and you had to leave them out altogether. The list of hypothetical scenarios is large. It is quite scary how such a trivial skill can be so fundamental in most stages of the PhD. So, what is a note? And most importantly how can notes contribute to the overall accomplishment of the research? Let us see how non-trivial the mechanics of this trivial skill are.