Graduate students, especially in the humanities, read a lot. Whether working toward growing their knowledge of a profession for preparing to be a scholar, grads are expected to absorb a large amount of material and be able to synthesize ideas (and sources) across their courses. Students can use their PKM to capture these readings, write down their notes, and then categorize and synthesize these notes to use in their projects, research, and writing.

Here are some tips for using a PKB to construct a literature base:
  • Add a pdf of the article to your PKB by dragging it from your desktop to the Evernote icon, using "Attach file..." or using the web clipper.
  • Create a summary note for each article you obtain as a course reading, through your own research, etc. The note should include:
    • Article's citation. (Use a citation manager such as Zotero to automate this step.)
    • a one paragraph summary of the article, as brief and specific as you can make it.
    • a paragraph describing the relevance of this article to the course, your research, etc. Include at least a sentence that expresses your personal reaction to the article.
    • Tags that categorize the article by topic as well as by each construct or concept that the article illuminates.
    • If you downloaded the article, Llnk your notes to the pdf and vice versa using notelinks.
    • Any reading notes that you have time to take.
  • Note: You don't have to read each article in order to add it to your PKB!! Sometimes, you can get a sufficient gist of the article's contribution by reading portions, i.e. the overview paragraph in the intro section, the discussion section, etc. Sometimes the "big takeaway message" is contained in the article's last sentence.

One possible structure for a reading note is shown below:

ReadingNoteSample.png