Tips for note taking?

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Aarondupont202
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Tips for note taking?

Post by Aarondupont202 » 14 Nov 2017, 09:27

I am very new to writing thoughtful reviews and I am struggling with keeping notes to stay organized. Does anyone have any tips or advice that I might be able to use to better help my note taking so that I can get my thoughts into the review eaiser? As of now I feel like I am just writing nonsense when I compare my work to others reviews. Anything will help :mrgreen:

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MsTri
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Post by MsTri » 14 Nov 2017, 21:31

Hello, @Aarondupont202, and welcome to reviewing! I've only been reviewing here since July, but if you look at my Review History, you'll see that MY first few were pretty bad, and I think that's because I was more focused on making sure I hit all the check-boxes - "Is it at least 400 words and 5 paragraphs? Did I talk about characters and environment? Did I note any relevant themes? Did I make recommendations for who should read this? and so on - but once I had that down, I felt more free to put my personal stamp on them, so my more recent ones, I think, are 1000x better.

But, to answer your question -- Since I don't know YOU, I don't know what will work for you, but I save a notepad document for each book I review and as I read, I note things that stand out. For instance, if it's badly edited, I may note "badly edited, see pages 14, 32, and 59 with the following examples: 'quotes' " or "bad character development; they were too stiff" or "unanswered questions: examples being blah, bleh, and bluh". I also note the positives, too, for example, "Really liked John's joke on page 15, which goes 'quote' "... I basically just give myself just enough info so that I don't forget things I wanted to remember and include specifics to I can go back to those pages later. Then, when I write the review, I note each of those things in the relevant paragraph(s) and, of course, elaborate and make it sound better.

Also, and this is just me, I REALLY like for my first two lines to grab the reader's attention, so if I thin of the perfect way to start the review, I write that down, as well, so I don't forget by the time it's time to write.

Good luck on finding your way; I'm sure you'll do great. :D

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kislany
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Post by kislany » 17 Nov 2017, 10:50

There are a few things that I do as well. First of all, I do read most of my books on my iPad (I usually read in the evening when I'm away from my pc). Most eBook readers have an annotaion option with a few different choices, which I use to the fullest. For example, as soon as I come across grammatical or spelling (or even formatting) errors in the book, I higlight them with one color as I read the book. Or, if i come across a paragraph that I want to refer back in my review, I use another type of annotation (e.g. a box around the paragraph). Then later I can open all those annotations (just like a table of contents) and can click through each of them to see what was the point I was issue/point there.

For ideas, I use a notepad type of app on my iPad to which I switch while reading as soon as a particular idea hits me. For example, while reading a book, at some point I thought that I have to mention two additional characters because they add to the entire story, so I highlighted the paragraph (or beginning of the page) where those characters interacted. Or I notice that the author didn't spend too much time on something that could have been better illustrated, so I add that note to the notepad as well because I know otherwise I will probably forget to mention that in my review. And when I actually write my review, I have my iPad next to my computer and review the notepad ideas as well as the highlights I did within the ebook itself.

Not sure how much these tips help, but that's my way of doing it.

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