The academic career demands constant readings for the development of quality research. In this way, it is quite common to get lost during the bibliographic reviews and accumulate dozens of articles, books, quotations and abstracts. But then, how to make a file to organize the references?
There are different techniques that avoid losing important information and spending time during bibliographic searches. To ensure that you do a good job, we separate the best tips below. Check out!
How to make a file
- List the main themes of your research
Any and all research needs a theoretical framework. After all, it is he who will sustain the arguments – whether they are contrary or not – bringing value to his data analysis and conclusion. In order for it to be done in the right way and present information relevant to the scientific community, it is necessary to invest in the topic and content files. With it, you ensure a high organization of information, reducing the time spent with readings and revisions.
The first step in developing a perfect listing is to list the main themes of your search, based on the initial reading of other articles and books about your work. In other words, you should list each relevant content that will be addressed in your theoretical framework to support your future arguments and analyzes. What is important here is not to explain why the theme is essential, but rather to identify them to collect data during in-depth readings.
- Take a brief reading
The filing of an article, book or any publication relevant to your area of expertise requires a brief reading to identify the most important points superficially. After all, it is through this first contact with the text that you can get within the theme and streamline your reading process, recognizing the most relevant information before even reading the entire article.
This technique is quite effective when one of the references is the chapter of a complex book. That way, you can eliminate some passages that are not relevant to your theme and focus on what really matters, saving time and work.
To do this, use the themes already listed, paying attention to the keywords and marking each subject in the text. For example, if you have identified that instrumental English is an important topic to be part of your theoretical framework, then while you are doing the superficial reading, mark the paragraph with the number already defined. This not only makes it easier to find the subject later – for in-depth reading – but also directs the focus of your attention, making you automatically remember the content.
- Sort by Subjects
Just as enumerating topics is key, another tip that will make a difference in your studies is to separate each record by subject. This is because, each content has several specific sub-themes and, as a rule, they need to be addressed in your research. Therefore, identifying which subject relates to the subject enumerated makes all the difference at the time of writing and analysis, since you know exactly where you got that information and about which statement it refers to.
An excellent way to assemble your card is to separate small cards – virtual or not – identifying the subject, the specific subject, the source being searched, and the relevant information. From there you can observe new points of analysis, make comparisons between authors more easily, check data and develop a clear and concise logic of your work.
- Enter dates, authors, and pages
In addition to identifying themes and subjects, it is necessary to highlight the dates, the authors responsible for the article and the page of each sentence used. While it’s a bit overworked, when you’re developing the benchmark, you can more easily find the information you use to assemble quotes and arguments. That way, you avoid plagiarism and save time in the future by keeping records organized and well detailed.
A good way to improve your card further is to leave it formatted in the ABNT standards, if you choose to develop it virtually. This allows this document to be copied in the future without structural changes being made, bringing more practicality in the studies.
- Choose your type of file
So far we have outlined the first steps on how to make a success file, from the development of your reading frame to the most important data that needs to appear on each tab. Now is the time to choose the best type of file for your work. This choice must always be made in accordance with the general purpose of your article. For example, if your idea is to create a concept within your area of action, the ideal is to do a content listing.
But, if you intend to make a theoretical and bibliographic coverage on a particular topic, the most suitable is the bibliographic record. To facilitate your choice, we explain all of them below.
It is one of the most used today. In it, you need to highlight the main idea of the author on the respective theme, avoiding its critical analysis. Still, what is indicated is to do in short and direct sentence forms to facilitate later reading.
Unlike the bibliographic, in which you write in your own words the ideas of the author, in the quote file you literally transcribe what was in the article, being careful not to leave anything out. In such cases, remember to always place the date of publication, the authors responsible for the citation and the page consulted, to avoid plagiarism and repetition of information.
Summary or content
The content or summary listing happens differently. In it, you develop a short paragraph to explain the main ideas of the author and make some comparisons with your thoughts on the subject. The golden rule is to avoid scientific judgments, prioritizing the already researched and proven data. Thus, you guarantee more reliability of your work and, even more, recognition in the professional world.
- Write short sentences
Regardless of the type of filing you choose, an essential attitude to build a clear and functional organization is to write short, objective sentences. Imagine having to read after a few months loose sentences, incoherent quotations, ambiguous notes and long texts. Tiring, is not it?
Instead of facilitating the creation of coherent arguments, you end up harming the progress of your work. As a result, you will have to go back to the old books and texts to remember the information and understand what is on the cards. So opt for short sentences, no fancy words, and hard to understand information. Remember that the purpose of the file is to help and decrease the work weight, not the other way around.
- Use your own words
Lastly, the last tip-and perhaps the most important-is to use your own words. Even if you choose to do a quote, always try to leave a message at the end or note in another space what you understood from that passage, which did not make sense and how you can use that information in your article.
That way, you capture the author’s main message, without leaving aside your personal impressions, as well as developing critiques more easily, as well as performing a thorough analysis of each reference.
Do you realize how to make a file helps in the organization of ideas and presentations? By creating a system that is easy to understand and access, you optimize time and also guarantee excellent analysis and observations, boosting your results and conclusions.