What Is a Note Card?

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A note card is a 3-inch by 5-inch or 5-inch by 7-inch index card on 110-pound card stock, used in researching, citing and recording information for academic research papers and bibliographies. Note cards aid in collecting and organizing information to write the final paper.

As usable facts about the topic are found during research, they are written on separate note cards. Each sentence or idea is paraphrased in the writer’s own words and the source cited from bibliography cards. Prior to writing, note cards are organized in order, according to an outline. A separate set of index cards gives complete information for each source, including books, magazines, films or web pages. These are used for entering in-text citations, footnotes and endnotes, and to compile the bibliography. All information required in the citation style prescribed by the instructor is included on each bibliography note card. Ten sources require ten bibliography note cards.