It is vital, when writing, to document any material you used during the research phase. Being able to document accurately quotations and paraphrases depends upon careful note taking methods.
One method for taking notes on research material is with pen and index cards. To do this, you first obtain an index card box, some dividers that correspond to the topics you will be covering, and index cards. This can be done two ways.
The classic way to use index cards is to use one index card for each new piece of information. First, record the bibliographic information at the top of each card. This information typically includes the author(s), title, city, state, publisher, and publication date. Second, record the paraphrase or the quotation you wish to use for your paper, and the page on which you found this information. Double check the card for accuracy.
A second way to use index cards, especially if you plan to use multiple sources or have multiple cards for one source is to have a key with the bibliographic information on it, and use abbreviations. To do this, create a notebook page for all bibliographic material. Give each source a distinct code. Record this code at the top of each index card associated with that source. IMPORTANT: If you use this method, be extra-diligent about ensuring that the code on your index card matches up with the code on the key. As with the classic method, keep information to one paraphrase or quote per index card. This makes the information easily manipulated when it comes time to write. In addition, quotes from the same book may be used in different places within your paper. By keeping one bit of information per index card, you can organize quotations and paraphrases by sections.
You may also want to read about electronic notetaking methods.