Although related to regular note-taking
, there is a slightly different method for making notes regarding literature.
- Make brief notes in the margins of the book itself, or underline a key word.
(Check whether any tests are open-book, and whether this is permitted first!)
- Make separate notes of themes and compare your thoughts.
- Use color-coded sticky notes to mark key passages or events.
- Create your own index.
(The inside cover is a great place to store your final version.)
Creating your own index
As you read, each time you spot a theme or a major point about a character, write it down with the page number. Then when you're trying to see which characters are the most complex, or which are the key themes, you'll have all the information.
Your index will help you to quickly find references for your papers, as well as aiding you in class discussions.
Atticus p4, 10, 14, 45
Racism p57, 60, 77-9
Poverty p3, 45
Class differences p5, 20, 31-2
Don't forget to enjoy reading! Find pleasure in the words, notice how they can change your mood or your attitude towards the characters. A single word can completely alter a scene, so pay attention!