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Taking Notes on a book ( Made in West Chester)

by Jim Jones

---   Go to Riggtown Home or the HIS480 Syllabus   ---

You should have two objectives when taking notes from a book. The most important one is to understand its content, but almost equally important is the goal of making it easy to locate information in the book when you use it in the future. For that reason, it is worth spending a little extra time before getting started, so that your notes will serve as a useful index for the content of the book.

The first step is to type the reference note for the book in the format that you are most likely to use. For historians, that format is dictated by the Chicago Manual of Style or its shorter version, Turabian. If you type the reference note correctly, then all you have to do in the future is paste it into anything that you write. For example:

Jim Jones, Made in West Chester: The History of Industry in West Chester, Pennsylvania, 1867 to 1945 (West Chester, PA: 2003), 111. [name of the library or collection where you found the book (in case you need to find it again some day)]

The next step is to type a copy of the table of contents, with page numbers, like the one shown here:

List of Abbreviations p3
List of illustrations p4
Foreword p7
1. The Preconditions for Industry in West Chester p9
2. Hoopes Brothers & Thomas Nursery (1853-1948) p15
3. Hoopes Brothers & Darlington Wheel Works (1867-1972) p23
4. The Sharples Separator Works (1881-1933) p31
5. Social Change in Industrial West Chester p37
6. Secondary Industrialization in West Chester p51
7. After The Depression p65
8. Conclusion p73
Notes p77
Bibliography p107
List of Interviews p111

Finally, make a second copy of the table of contents, paste it below the first copy, and then start typing notes from your reading into the second copy. Here is an example, with the copied material from the table of contents shown in bold.

List of Abbreviations p3
List of illustrations p4
Foreword p7
1. The Preconditions for Industry in West Chester p9
2. Hoopes Brothers & Thomas Nursery (1853-1948) p15
3. Hoopes Brothers & Darlington Wheel Works (1867-1972) p23
4. The Sharples Separator Works (1881-1933) p31
5. Social Change in Industrial West Chester p37

 

Page 39

Date Chester County
Population
West Chester
Population
West Chester
Gain
West Chester's
share of the
County Population
1800 32,093 374 n/a 1.17
1810 39,596 471 97 1.19
1820 44,451 553 82 1.24
1830 50,910 1,244 691 2.44
1840 57,515 2,152 908 3.74
1850 66,438 3,172 1,020 4.77
1860 74,578 4,757 1,585 6.38
1870 77,802 5,630 873 7.24
1880 83,475 7,046 1,416 8.44
1890 89,377 8,028 982 8.98
1900 95,695 9,524 1,496 9.95

 

6. Secondary Industrialization in West Chester p51
7. After The Depression p65
8. Conclusion p73
Notes p77
Bibliography p107
List of Interviews p111

---   Go to Riggtown Home or the HIS480 Syllabus   ---

Copyright 2010 by Dr. James A. Jones