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Literature Review Information Literacy Session


Strategic note taking

NOTE: You don't need to record the author's main points. You need to record what about each resource matters to your topic and how it fits within the CONTEXT of other sources.

  1. Quick glance of 10 or so sources (under 2 mins per resource). This is to get a sense of the context, not speed reading. This gives you an idea of what some themes across sources might be. 
  2. Go back & read each resource, writing quick notes in the margins or in a separate document
  3. Create a table in a separate Word doc for each resource 

Here's an example from my research. 

NOTE: I came up with the themes based on skimming multiple articles. These are not the main themes of the particular article. The middle column is meant so you do not have to go back to the original article and hunt for concepts & quotes. Be sparing in your use of quotes when you write your paper, but feel free to grab quotes now if you want. The third column is so that you do not go down a rabbit hole. Stick with this step of reading each article before moving to the next steps. Write down that you found a new source in the bibliography, or a new term, but don't go find more articles yet. Finish reading the ones you already found first!

Example of ANTIC model table



Another helpful text for those working on dissertation or thesis:

Matrix model


Spreadsheet example

Filter your sources easily based on the themes you found above.

  • Each resource is a row
  • Themes are columns
  • Helps with writing later!

  • Use few words (yes or no) so easier to sort