How to organise the results of your research

State Library of Victoria
© History Skills

Once you have gathered lots of information and quotes from a wide range of sources, you can start preparing your essay.


Do not start writing your essay straight away! Taking some time to organise all of your information into the right order will save time in the end and will help you to develop a sophisticated argument.


Organising your quotes

Read all of your quotes and sort them into categories according to the sub-question(s) they answer.


Once you have all of the quotes for your first sub-question, then it is easier for you to see how you can use your sources to answer the question.


Furthermore, organising them into groups can help you put them in the order you will use them in, give you a chance to delete ‘double-ups’ of information and irrelevant quotes.

For example:


Sub-question 1: 

What caused medieval castles to fall into disuse? 

Quotes from Step 4 that help answer sub-question 3:

Castles became obsolete with the invention and improvement of gunpowder-based artillery (Hull, 2004, 33)

"Castles took years to build and, when new canon technology could destroy a fortification in a matter of days, they were no longer feasible" (Alchin, 2017, n.p.)

The development of modern artillery meant that attackers could destroy castles from a distance, which removed any advantage that defenders gained from their stone walls (Norris, 2007, 249)

What's next?

Need a digital Research Journal?

Historical Research Journal
A ready-to-use digital student research journal that follows the same 9-step research process from the History Skills website. Each research stage has explanations, blank tables and hyperlinks to examples to aid with the completion of essay ... (Read More)