Keeping Track of your Sources

students and sources

Whether it be color-coding your notes, highlighting passages you want to quote or paraphrase, or using index cards to manage your citations, establishing a system for organizing your materials is essential.


One good way to keep track of your sources is to keep a Research Log:

  1. Create a document with two sections: Preliminary and Final.
  2. As you locate potential sources, enter the source citation (in proper MLA or APA format) into your Preliminary research log.
  3. Then, as you integrate sources into your paper or project, copy and paste the citation from your Preliminary log to your Final log.
  4. If you make sure to do this, when you are finished with your writing you will have already completed a formatted reference list!