I no longer believe that 3” x 4” or 4” x 6” cards are large enough to accommodate the frequently messy and occasionally extended writing that often characterizes genuinely useful notes.
Little cards get in the way of having a good conversation with your sources.
These things, I argued, were things to which students needed to be introduced.
Once introduced to the traditional method, they had earned the right to manipulate it to their own whims.
He calls the comments the “fastwrite response.” I like the idea but cannot see that my students would have that much to say about each of their notes.
It also does not solve the wasted-energy problem, as hand writing the notes would be the easiest way to work with the columns unless students did some slick work with tables in Word (something I find unlikely that my students would do well).We have just finished note cards—well, some of us have just finished our note cards—and we are constructing the outline before writing the first draft.It’s a familiar process and I have been a champion of it for many years.He describes two methods, neither one involving note cards.In fact, he described note cards in the first edition of the book but refused to include them in the second edition, admitting that in good conscience, I can’t do it anymore.It is a research log where students create an entry for their notes with each source.At the top of the entry they put the works cited citation and the day’s date.I champion this process—in particular the use of note cards—because I see it as a scalable method of note taking that allows students to manipulate information from sources in ways outside the organization of the original articles.A few years ago I heard a colleague question the use of note cards, wondering whether it was just a time-honored thing that we do simply because it was done to us.I experimented with note programs, Google Notes, text boxes in Word, and online bookmarks, but was not happy with any of them until I stumbled upon Zotero.I have praised Zotero before, but the heart of my praise is that the program mimics the note card method.