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Early Connection Opportunity (ECO) Program, 2020: Reading & Note-taking

Close Reading & Note-taking

Strategies when taking notes:

  • Summarize

Read the article, put it aside and write a few sentences about what you remember.


  • Interrogate

Read the article and, any time an idea or question pops into your head, write it down near the quote that sparked the idea. See example below:


  • BEAM

Read the article and, as you read, classify each phrase or paragraph according to BEAM. Is it background information? Write B besides the phrase. See example below:


 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Justina Elmore, University of Rochester.  Adapted from Kristin M. Woodward & Kate Ganski's "What Could A Writer Do With This Source?" {{cc-by-4.0}}

Scan & Skim First


​Ask Yourself

  • What are the terms and keyword the author is using?
  • Do I need to do further research to understand these concepts? (e.g. look it up in Wikipedia)
  • What is the main topic of the paper?
  • What are the subtopics or subsections of the paper?
  • Is the author successful in making their argument and/or is there further room for study?


Diagram of a Scholarly Journal Article

Notetaking tools for PDF reading

For PC:

For Mac:

Preview (using Annotate tool)

Group Notetaking: 



Learn more:



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Pauline Schwartzman
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Kristen Totleben
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