How To Take Notes For Writing A Strong Master’s Thesis In Criminal Justice

To write a decent thesis in criminal justice, you’ll need to do thorough research first. Taking notes is a very important part of the research. If you don’t pay much attention to taking notes, you may lose some significant facts for supporting your argument in the process of research. Here are some good tips that you should follow during this stage of work:

  1. Copy quotations.
  2. If you find a quotation in some source that sounds really good and memorable, you may write it down word by word. You won’t be accused in plagiarism for using such quotations as long as you indicate their actual authors. However, it’s better not to have too many quotations in your text because your committee wants to see your own ideas.

  3. Paraphrase ideas.
  4. When you think that there is no need to give an exact quotation about some idea, but you like the idea in general, you may paraphrase the text in your own words and write it down into your notes.

  5. Don’t be afraid to make too many notes.
  6. If you think that you take too many notes and you won’t be able to use them all in your thesis, it’s not a problem. It’s always better to have a big list of notes that you may choose from.

  7. Note only what you need.
  8. When making your notes, you don’t have to copy entire paragraphs from your sources. Write down only the main words and phrases. This will stimulate you to express your ideas in a more individual way, without quoting other authors.

  9. Keep your topic in mind.
  10. Some students go very deep with their research and may deviate from their main topic when making notes. You shouldn’t do such mistakes. Search only for information that directly relates to your topic. Otherwise, you’ll spend precious time looking for useless facts.

  11. Organize your notes properly.
  12. Use different sheets of paper for each new source that you use. This will not only make it easier for you to quickly find the note you need at the moment but also help you organize a list of sources for your bibliography at the later stages of your work. The same method might be applied if you take notes by using text processing programs on your computer. Create a separate document for each source.

If you use these tips to take notes for your Master’s thesis in criminal justice, you’ll be able to gather data properly and create a strong paper.