Writing up an outline of your ideas can help you focus your topic and give structure to your thoughts.
Be sure to write next to each note you take where you got the information. You will need this for your in-text citations, bibliography or references cited page. Occasionally review your assignment and your topic sentence or research question to be sure you are staying on track.
Divide up your notes based on the different parts of your topic or your various topic questions. If you are using a computer, you could combine them on different pages: a page for each part of your topic. If you are using note cards, you could make piles of cards on each part of your topic. Now you have a collection of information/notes on each area of your topic. Read through them. Do you need more information for one area? Do you need a statistic to make your point? Did you have notes that answer all your questions sufficiently? Maybe more research is needed.
Use a writing guide. Many professors expect you to follow a writing guide for in-text citations and a references cited page or bibliography. Ask your professor if you need to follow a specific guide. The two most common guides are MLA and APA.
The books below may be found in the SDCC Library.
The pages below are sponsored by Purdue University Online Writing Center (OWL), a well-known institution. Their web pages have almost as much detail and examples as the official handbooks.
The documents below are quick two-page overviews created by SDCC Librarians of the style guides with samples of the most common formats of resources used in term papers.
Do not turn in your first draft unless your professor has asked to see it! Instead, re-read and rewrite your draft several times before submitting your final product to your professor. Have a friend read it-- another pair of eyes might catch something you've overlooked. You need to show your best work, and plenty of help is available at City College to make your work shine. Start your papers and projects early so that you can take full advantage of this opportunity!
Got writer's block? Or has APA format got you stumped? Writing help is available to you at the English Center and through their online tutoring service. Check them out!