The first group meeting is relatively short.
When you know what the essay question is you need to arrange a study group meeting at a group members' home, or in a quiet place, to discuss the essay assignment details and make sure you all understand what you are asked to do.
Your tutor will probably give you an 'additional reading suggestions' list that you need to read. Instead of trying to read all the suggested books and journals yourself you can split the reading up so each group member gets 3-4 texts from the list that s/he needs to research.
This way each study group member gets a set reading task to complete before the next meeting date. The last part of the 1st group meeting is to set the date and place for the second meeting which will be 3-4 days later.
It's helpful if the study group members all use an adapted Walter Pauk's Cornell Notes format for the research reading notes so it will be easier for other study group members to use the citations when writing their assignment essay.
Making academic essay notes from textbook reading is similar to making standard Cornell Notes but with additional information about the textbook or journal title, and the location of the citation.
If you are using a large library it's also a good idea to note the library floor/room location and the shelf reference in case you want to find the source later.
During your essay research you may find similar information appearing in several chapters in a textbook but in different contexts. You need to record those references and use the most appropriate citation for your academic essay.
Record the full title of every text used, the page number, and the line reference where citations are located.
For the line reference use a decimal digit for how far down the page the citation was found. For example: p33.25 means the text starts about a quarter (25%) down on page 33. If the citation was found near the bottom of page 45 the reference would be p45.95 (95%).
Line references are only for your benefit in case you need to find the same citation later.
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