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Writing: Organizing Research

Outlining as a Strategy for Organizing Notes

Once you've identified the articles that you want to synthesize in your literature review, you need a way to keep track of the tidbits of information you glean from each article.

The videos below share helpful tips for organizing the notes you take when reading articles, and then organizing those notes into an outline.

Tips for Organizing Research

You've probably read lots of articles in your life, and you're familiar with how to highlight and take notes to keep track of key ideas. (If you'd like a refresher, check out the Research Guide on Close Reading.) But how do you organize those notes in a way that is easy to refer to when writing your paper?

This three-minute video on "Organizing Research" will share some helpful tips for managing your notes.


With your notes all organized, it's time to write!  Use an outline to plan out what you will say in your paper.  Done properly, a good outline will practically write your paper for you as it categorizes your main points in an order that makes sense.  This six-minute video will review the process of outlining.