Taking Notes

Strategies for taking notes during research or inquiry

What is Research? What is Inquiry?

The purpose of research or inquiry is to seek informtion or knowledge. In doing so, you collect the most important facts, determine the main idea, and get the "gist" (pronounced "jist") of what you're learning.

How do you record information?

If you tried to write down everything you read about your topic word for word, it would take too much time and your hand would get very tired! Plus, you can't record every word because that is plagiarism! Plagiarism is like cheating because you are taking someone else's ideas (their words) and calling it your own. Therefore, you need a strategy to help you record information. A good strategy to use is ABCLOU!

Practice Makes Perfect!

Here's your chance to practice using the ABCLOU stategy for taking notes. Grab a sheet of paper (or a whiteboard, a notebook, etc.) and read the following paragraph. Determine the most important information, use strategies from ABCLOU and take notes!!


A frog is a small, tailless animal with big eyes that bulge out. Frogs live in every part of the world except Antarctica.

Almost all frogs have long, strong back legs. They use their back legs to make big leaps. Most frogs have sticky tongues in the front part of their mouths. They flip out their tongues with amazing speed to catch their food. Frogs eat mostly insects, earthworms, and spiders.

Frogs are amphibians. That means they spend part of their life as a water animal, and part of their life as a land animal. Some kinds of frogs spend all their lives in or near the water. Others never go into the water. Many kinds of frogs live in trees. Some kinds live underground.

The world's biggest frog is the giant, or Goliath, frog of west-central Africa. It is almost 12 inches (30 centimeters) long. Most kinds of frogs are green or brown. But some have colorful marks on them.