How to Organise Research Paper Notes When Working on Thesis Writing?

Research Paper Notes

When working on a long-term project like thesis writing, students can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of data. Tons and tons of information are required to write a thesis, and the organisation of this much information is a very challenging task. Taking research paper notes is another activity which adds salt to the injuries of students. Students take notes while reading the papers and analysing the themes present in them. However, when they start writing the thesis, they do not know which note belongs to which area. Thus, it gives rise to serious issues in thesis writing.

Due to this problem, the organisation of the research paper notes is a must to do. Without this, you cannot complete your thesis on time and grab good marks. Hence, keeping in mind another reality that you do not know how to organise such notes, today’s article is about this topic. There will be mention of the meaning of organisation of notes and its importance in thesis writing. Along with this, today’s article will highlight the organisation’s strategies.

What Does It Mean By The Organisation Of Notes?

Note-taking is an important activity that many of you may have performed in your early academic life in the form of noting down the lecture or lesson. However, it is just note-taking, not the organisation of notes. The organisation of notes means arranging each note into a category or subcategory that defines its placement in the thesis writing. The research paper notes are normally the summary of the important points discussed in that paper.

Why is the organisation of notes important?

After reading the above, you know the meaning of the organisation of notes. Still, you do not know about the importance of note-taking in thesis writing. Therefore, its importance in the form of bulleted points is as follows:

  • The organisation of notes saves a lot of time for researchers because they know they have to put the information in the thesis.
  • Your notes are a reflection of your thoughts deduced after reading the research paper related to your thesis topic. Therefore, organising them is very important.
  • The effectively organised notes allow you to pluck out any information when required in thesis writing, making the writing process swift.
  • It is important because if your notes suffer in any case, it will have a direct impact on your dissertation.

Strategies to organise your notes effectively

Having notes of the important points is easy, but putting them all together and placing them in their relevant categories, i.e., organisation of research paper notes, is difficult. As you that it is important; so the difficult holds no more. You have to organise the notes in a perfect manner to save yourself time. To do that, a brief description of the strategies is as follows:

1.     Know what kind of ideas you want to record

First things first, your note-taking copy is full of black and blue ink, but every piece of information on that copy cannot go into organised notes. Therefore, you need to know what kind of ideas and arguments are discussed in the research you want to record. When deciding this, do not forget to take the relevance of the notes to the thesis statement in the account. After doing so, you will be sure about whether you should organise facts or theories about the topic. However, if you are still facing any issues, it’s better to get dissertation proposal help for the organization of your notes.

2.     Do not write too much

When organising the notes, it is important not to write too much. The reason is that you are now organising notes, not writing them. Therefore, be concise in your choice of words. Make use of the concept maps if possible and write a one or two-word description in each box. Compressing the ideas into your own words is also a good idea. Nevertheless, the main point is that you should not write too much because it will look messy.

3.     Label and code your notes

One of the best practices in the organisation of research paper notes is labelling and coding them. Labelling is the practice of describing something in a word or short phrase. For example, instead of saying “he has broken the law and got due punishment”, you can say “he is a criminal.” The word criminal here is a label for a person who breaks the law. The same goes with the notes organisation in that you can label the ideas and theories. Coding is aslo somewhat related to labelling. The difference is that you create your own words in coding.

4.     Employ Zettelkasten Method of notes orgainsation

Zettelkasten Method is a powerful knowledge management method that can help you organise your research paper notes effectively. The method consists of small items of information that you may link to each other through subject headings. It is the same as an information tree where the trunk is the main topic, and the branches represent the headings and subheadings. There are many tools that use Zettelkasten Method for note organisation. Some are  Obsidian notes, Tiddlywiki, and RemNote.

5.     Create folders on your personal computer

In today’s modern world, everything has shifted from papers to a tiny 30 by 24 cm device, i.e., a personal computer (PC). PCs have revolutionised the overall methods of the organisation of notes for academic writing. Whenever you encounter new information, go to your PC and create a folder for that thing. See how easy it is to organise information on a PC. Typical folders you may want to include when organising the notes are Research paper 1, Research paper 2, and the Measurements section. All these folders will further be subdivided and contain relevant information to your thesis topic.


Conclusively, organising the research paper notes is important because it saves you time in the writing process. Therefore, use the strategies mentioned above and organise your notes effectively so that you can complete the thesis writing on time. Otherwise, be ready to face failure and get bad grades. Using Zettelkasten Method is a good option among all discussed above.


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