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- To avoid plagiarism
- Give proper credit to the authors of the information you use
- Allow readers to find your sources
- Avoid serious academic consequences
It is good practice to keep a record of your search results, methodology and strategy, so you don't have to go through them repeatedly.
- Start with the newest research. This often points to useful older research.
- Read the abstract, introduction and conclusion.
- Scan the item to see if you can see how it's organized.
- Document any quotations you'd like to save for later. Use quotation marks and note the complete citation and page number for the quote.
- Paraphrase or summarise some main points.
Below is an example of a "synthesis matrix" by Jennifer Lim. You can create a table like this to help keep track of the ideas generated by the sources you're using.