Make better notes

The best way to improve your paraphrasing, summarising and quoting skills is to learn how to make better notes. Good note making will also enhance your knowledge and understanding of the material.

Although it can be tempting to copy chunks word-for-word from a text when making notes for an assignment, you should avoid this for three reasons:

  • it can increase the risk of accidental plagiarism
  • it can mask the fact that you do not fully understand what you have read
  • it is a passive technique and does not help you to learn.

The following tips will help you write effective notes and avoid plagiarism. Click on the headings below for more details.


When planning and writing your assignment, use only your own notes which are written in your own words. This will help you avoid plagiarism.