Google Docs is a great service, especially for students. Not only can you use it to store PDFs, but you can use it to create and store documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Students taking copious notes from classes and books can benefit greatly from Google Docs because of its ease of use, online storage, and search functionality.
For example, when working with any book or article, you are bound to write down a note. If you can type instead of write, then you have the ability to record your notes without fear of losing paper or files on your computer.
Here is one method of taking and storing notes for future accessibility.
First, always put a bibliographic reference at the top of the page.
DeVries, Kelly. “The Use of Chronicles in Recreating Medieval Military History.” Journal of Medieval Military History 2 (2004): 1-15.
Next, use bullet points for the notes or quotes, always leaving page numbers in parentheses. Here are the first two notes and quotes from the article.
- J. F. Verbruggen points out that the chronicles are often incomplete “and as the clergy were sometimes ignorant of military matters, they give fabricated accounts, or add imaginary details. For want of critical insight they often show astonishing gullibility.” (DeVries 2004, 4)
- J. F. Verbruggen emphasizes “that the scholar attempting to write medieval military history must be acutely aware not only of the chronicler’s nationality and presence (or lack thereof) at the military event, but also of his locality, vocation, education, and agenda; even whether the chronicler chose to write in Latin or in a vernacular should be taken into account.” (DeVries 2004, 4)
Finally, title the document after the book or article, including the author. Also, precede the title with something such as “Notes:” to leave a clear indicator what the document contains. Continuing with the same example, the title of this document would look like the following:
Notes: The Use of Chronicles in Recreating Medieval Military History by Kelly DeVries
The goal is to leave a breadcrumb trail for yourself. Even though you may take notes today, it does not mean you will not need them in the future. By following the examples above, you can find the notes by searching your Google Docs for something as simple as “medieval.”
By Scott Manning
Online Learning Tips, Student Contributor