Now—very important! Document everything you read. Your style sheet will indicate what information you need about each of your sources, so that will be your guide for what you must record about a source. Take notes in an organized way. For example, note where you find anything about Twain’s writing that establishes him as a Regionalist if that’s the direction your paper is going. Or bibliographical information that backs up your thesis that Mark Twain wrote about what he knew. Don’t come to the writing stage without this information. You’ll be very unhappy if you do because you’ll have to retrace your steps to get it. You need titles of books, publication information, page numbers, and actual quotations. Some research-paper writers use the Xerox machine to capture information from a source they want to quote. Even if you end up not using some of your research, you still need to have the information you need to find it again.
Style sheets have special ways to show that information came from an electronic source such as the Internet. You need to document those sources according to the requirements of the style sheet or manual you’re using. Note that ahead of time so you will not what information to put in your notes when you find information that you want to use.