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Using PowerNotes


Now that PowerNotes has been added to your browser, you are ready to begin working. Check to make sure that PowerNotes is active by clicking the PowerNotes extension logo in the upper right corner of your browser window.

PowerNotes icon in upper right corner of browser.



If it isn't active, be sure to click on the "Enable PowerNotes" button before continuing.

Use button to the right of "Enable PowerNotes" to load the extension.




The first step is to create a project. Click the PowerNotes icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

PowerNotes logo in the lower right hand corner of browser. Opens the side panel.





This will pull up a window on the right side of your browser. At the top of this new window, next to the PowerNotes logo, is the name of your current project.

PowerNotes side panel that opens on the right side of the screen.



















 You will likely begin with a default project already created for you. Click the drop down arrow and select "+ Create New Project...".

Drop down menu to create a new project located to the right of the PowerNotes logo at the top of the side panel.




This will pull up a new window in the center of your screen where you can input the project name and the project description. Click the blue "Create" button to finish creating the project.

Two fields to enter text. The first is for the project name, the second is for the project description.








One of the most important parts of PowerNotes is the Project Outline. The Project Outline is a great way to manage your project, and it offers options that are not available in the PowerNotes sidebar that comes with the browser extension.

The Project Outline link is located underneath the "Create New Project" drop down menu to the right of the purple "Take Screenshot" button.

















To access the Project Outline, you will first need to enable PowerNotes in your browser. If it is not already enabled, click on the PowerNotes icon in the upper right corner of your browser window (shown below).

The PowerNotes icon in the upper right corner of the browser window.


Then click the "Enable PowerNotes" toggle (shown below).

Click the button the right of "Enable PowerNotes" to enable it within your browser.



Then click the PowerNotes logo in the bottom right corner of your browser.

PowerNotes icon in lower right corner of browser opens the side panel.




This will open PowerNotes on the right side of your browser. Click on the "Project Outline" option. You will be taken to a site for your project in a new tab in your browser.

The new page should look something like this. At the top of the page, you have the title of your project and its description. Below, there are two symbols. The one on the left is the "Sharing" icon (see "Sharing your Project"), and the one on the right is the Export option (see "Exporting from PowerNotes").

Project Outline page that is opened after clicking the link in the side panel.










Below the area to add a comment, you have options to bold, italicize, or underline text, then create a bullet pointed and numbered list respectively, an icon to make the comment a quote, and an icon to add in a link.Before your project topics are listed, you will see an area labelled "+ Add Project Comment" (shown above). Comments you place herewhich could include anything from your thoughts, a list of ideas, a quotation, or a linkare not attached to any of the project topics that subdivide your project. This means this is a great place to put things that you're not sure where they should go, or things that may be relevant to the entire project as a whole and not applicable to a singular topic.

Icon of three dots next to topic only appears when topic is hovered over.Below the section for project comments, there is a section for the different topics in your project (shown above). Next to the topic labeled "Background", there is a symbol of three vertical dots. This allows you to make edits to a topic (shown below). This allows you to delete topics, but also to move or copy topics between projects, which could be useful if you have several projects that build upon each other.

The box for choosing options of what to do with topic (delete, move, and copy) appears above the three dot icon when it is clicked.






To the right of each topic is an area to "Add Freeform Note". This will be discussed in more detail in the "Gathering Sources" section.

"Add Freeform Note" symbol as it appears in PowerNotes




To the right, this panel (shown below) allows you to sort and manage your project.

Table on right side of Project Outline page.











The "Sort By" option shown on the left sorts the information on the entire Project Outline page. By default, the overall page is sorted and subdivided based on the topics in your project, meaning any quotations, notes, etc. that you've gathered are shown as being part of whichever topic you had assigned it to. If you wanted to sort the quotations, notes, etc. that you've gathered by date, source, or editor instead, you can select that here.

Sort by drop down menu options go in the order: Topic, Date, Source, then Editor.








There are several reasons you may want to do this. In the case of sorting by date, you would be able to sort your work on your project by the date in which you gathered that information. When the project is small, this may not seem useful, however, if you have a larger research project, this may become very useful.

Sorting by source could be very useful if, for instance, you wanted to see all of the quotations you've obtained broken down by which source they belong to instead of which topic they've been grouped under, which could be necessary if you are using a single source to argue multiple different topics within your paper, or if one source is cited multiple different times.

Sorting by editor will sort your Project Outline page by which of the editors on your project added each individual piece of information. If you are sharing your project with multiple other people, and you want to see which work you, or one of your peers, has contributed, this would be a good option to select.

Topics are listed vertically underneath the "Manage Topics" heading.




The next section (shown above) allows you to manage topics and project details. If you select the square next to each topic, only that project will be shown on the outline. You can also add topics by selecting the option in the bottom left. You can get more advanced options by selecting the cog symbol in the upper right corner. A new window will be opened (shown below).

To move to editing "Project Details" click the "Project Details" arrow on the middle left portion of the pop up window.










This page mainly allows you to add or edit topics. As it describes:

"Hover over the topic you want to edit. change colors by clicking on the colored circles. Reorder topics by dragging and dropping. Add topics here or in the extension while doing research."

It also offers a tip: "You can add outline formatting to your topic names (I, A, 1, i, etc.)."

If, for instance, you wanted your project to be structured linearly—1. Introduction, 2, 3, and 4 being body paragraphs, and 5. Conclusion—you could do this by following their tip.

If you click the "Project Details" option to the left, it will bring you to a new page.

Click on the far right of the window to go back to "Add/Edit Topics"












This page does not do anything complex, but it does allow you to change your project name and description if you need to.

The last portion (shown below) of the Project Outline page is for filtering out what content is shown on the Project Outline screen.

The option to deselect filters is located on the left side of the window.













Under "Content Filters", deselecting the "Highlights" option will remove any highlighted text you have selected as a quotation. See "Gathering Sources" for more information on highlighting text and creating citations. Deselecting "Notes" will remove any notes you've added to your project from view. Deselecting "Citation Info" will remove being able to see formatted citations from view, usually below highlighted text.

Under "Card Filters", deselecting "Sources" will remove any sources and their associated information from view. This is different from deselecting just "Highlights" or "Citation Info" from before because it removes everything associated with sources from view, not just the highlighted text or the citation itself. Bookmarks are a way to mark pages and sources you would like to return to later. Deselecting Bookmarks will remove these from view (see "Gathering Sources" for more info). Deselecting "Freeform Notes" will naturally also remove those from view.

Lastly, there's an option at the bottom to remove any comments you or any of your project contributors have left from view.


The first step to gathering sources for your project is, naturally, to find sources. One of the best places to find this information would be to use Kishwaukee College's A-Z Database list. For the purposes of this tutorial, the "Academic Search Complete" database will be used. It is the first database listed on the A-Z Database page.

"Academic Search Complete" is a collection of multiple different databases ran by EBSCOhost and as such has a large amount of academic sources available for use. When you open the link to "Academic Search Complete", you will be given a variety of options for searching for sources.

First, at the top of the page, you will have options that allow you to make very specific searches for sources.

There are three different boxes where you can enter search information. To the right of each is the "Select a Field" option, which opens a drop down. To the left of the second and third search fields is the drop down to select "And", "Or", "Not" when searching.





Under "Select a Field" next to each search field, you can specify what type of information you're searching for. Many of these are incredibly specific and won't be necessary for the vast majority of people, however, some of these are important to consider. For instance, if you're trying to find the work of a particular author, choosing the "AU Author" option would make the most sense. As would selecting "TI Title" if you were looking for an article that had a particular title. Or selecting "SO Journal Name" if you are trying to find sources from a particular academic journal.

The drop down for "Select a Field" opens downward.















It is also important to note that "And", "Or", and "Not" options are available for the second and third fields. This allows you to include or exclude results as you search for multiple things at once. You could, for example, perform the search below:

Drop down for "And", "Or", "Not" opens downward when clicked.





This would give you results that are about geology and the pacific northwest, but exclude results that are talking about the state of Oregon.

Below the search area, there are even more specific options available. Not all of them are worth discussing in detail, but some are valuable to know.

"Geology" is written in the first field, "Pacific Northwest" in the second, and "Oregon" is written in the third.




Selecting "Scholarly Journals (Peer Reviewed)" will limit your results to academic journal articles.

The button to select for "Titles held in print at Kishwaukee College" and "Scholarly Journals (Peer Reviewed)" is below the text left oriented.




It is likely you may run into circumstances where only an abstract or a small portion of a source is available. To avoid including these results, you can select either "Full Text Available Online" or "PDF Full Text".

Button for "Full Text Available Online" is below the text to the left. Button for PDF Full Text is below the text to the left.



As for using PowerNotes to gather sources, you will first want to make sure that PowerNotes is activated in your browser. An explanation of how to do this is shown at the beginning of the previous section, "Project Outline".

Gathering quotations and citing sources is very streamlined within PowerNotes. Simply use your mouse to highlight the text you would like to save, and a window for your project within PowerNotes will open up. Click the topic you want to save a quotation to.Highlighted text on the web page. PowerNotes box is centered just below the text.







After selecting the topic, you will be prompted to add any notes you would like to add to go along with your quote. This could be used to add context you need to remember, your thoughts and feelings about what you've read, or even leave a note for yourself on how to use this quote later when you write your paper. Click the green check mark when you are finished.

This should work with both PDF and HTML documents, however, PDF documents will need to be loaded in your internet browser. If a PDF document does not work with PowerNotes, it may be because the PDF is lacking OCR functionality.

There is a green arrow in the lower right corner of the box to confirm your note.








If the PDF is lacking OCR functionality, PowerNotes will display an error message like the one shown to the left. Click "Process PDF" to add in OCR functionality.Message that appears at the top of the PowerNotes side panel when a PDF needs to made compatible. There is a "Process PDF" button in the left corner of the alert that will process the PDF.



After processing, the red error message will change to green. Click "Download PDF" and open in your internet browser with PowerNotes equipped. The PDF should now be usable.

After processing, the banner will replace the "Process PDF" button with one that says "Download PDF".



The quotation will be added under the topic you selected in the PowerNotes sidebar. Click the "Confirm citation" button in the lower left corner of the quotation box. This will allow you to confirm the details of the citation so that way you do not have to do this when you make your works cited or references page at the end of writing your paper, saving you quite a bit of time.

"Confirm citation" icon is located in the lower left corner of the page.









This is not universally the case, but because the source in question was taken from Academic Search Complete, PowerNotes already has the citation information pre-formatted from EBSCOhost itself.

If the citation is not automatically generated, it is possible to fill out the information manually. Note you can also change the format to whichever citation style is required for your class.

If the information is not automatically generated, and you require a DOI for an academic source, generally one can be located on the information page for a source.

Clicking "Source Notes" on the top right will allow you to add in notes if you did not already or if you need to make alterations.

Citation Information box. The order of the information vertically going down is "URL", "Format", then "DOI, ISBN, PMID, or arXiv" (one field), "Citation", and "Page range".























If you want to add in notes that are not attached to a particular source, you can do so by using "Project Comments" as described in the "Project Outline" page, or you can use Freeform Notes.

Click this option to add in a Freeform note. It will be added to the topic that it is created under.

Add Freeform Note symbol.




It will provide you a space to enter in the text for your note (shown below).

Click on left side to add to note. Three dot symbol on the right is for options.

Click the three dots to the right to delete the note, move it to a new topic, or copy the note to another project.

If you feel that you may need to repeatedly return to a single source, or if you feel that you may want to use a source but aren't certain if you would like to cite it just yet, you can use bookmarks to save the page the source is on to make it easier to return to later. You can find the "Add Bookmark" option at the bottom of the header in the PowerNotes sidebar.

Add Bookmark symbol to the left of the "Take Screenshot" button in the PowerNotes sidebar.




Title area of webpage. Title of article is "How massive stars in binary systems turn into carbon factories".







Citing a non-academic source, like the website shown above, is shown below.

Selected text for citation on website page: "oxygen comes almost entirely from massive stars, most of which explode, while nitrogen is made mostly in lower-mass stars, which don't explode".









Here, some text has been selected, as it was in the academic source example shown earlier in the section.

After assigning the quote to the "New Topic" topic, it appears in the side panel.







Here (above) is the quotation in the side panel. Click on the quotation symbol in the bottom left corner to "Confirm Citation". This will bring up a new page in the side panel.

Much of the information presented here will be generated by default by PowerNotes as it scans the page for the required information to generate a citation. Clicking the format drop down will allow you to change the citation style to the one required by your class. Click "Detailed Citation Information" at the bottom of the page.

Underneath the newly opened heading "Citation Information" in the side panel, the first field will be for the URL, which should be autofilled, followed below by a drop down to select the citation format, then an area where a citation is automatically generated, and finally a field for the page range. Below that, by clicking on the "Detailed Citation Information", you can manually enter data for the citation if PowerNotes does not do that by default.

























Under the "Detailed Citation Information" section, you can see what information PowerNotes has used to generate the citation, and change any of it if it is incorrect. If you wish to manually create your citations, you can do this in the regular "Citation Information" section by typing in the "Citation" box.

Underneath "Detailed Citation Information", the first field is for the title of the article/website, then there is a section for adding contributers. There are three fields for contributers. The first is a drop down to choose the person's role, followed by a field to type their first name and last name, respectively. There is blue text beneath this titled "Add another contributer" if there is more than one. Below, there is a field for the publisher, and, lastly, at the bottom, a field for the "Date published" on the left, and a field for the "Date accessed" on the right.







Sharing your project in PowerNotes is relatively simple. First, click the PowerNotes logo in the top left corner of the PowerNotes sidebar (highlighted).

PowerNotes side panel. The icon to click is in the uppermost left hand corner of the side panel.

















You will be taken to the PowerNotes' site where you will see your active projects.

PowerNotes site for your projects. Created projects are to the left of the "Create a New Project" option.






Hover over the project you want to share. Below, you will see three icons. Click the one on the left to share your project.

The "Sharing" icon is the left most of the three icons that are centered below projects on the projects page.







Now, a new window will appear (shown below).

The field to enter the email of the contributor is in the bottom left corner of the window. The drop down to select the role is below. Then a blue icon to "Send Invite".














There are two ways that someone you share your project with can interact with it. The specifics are shown to the left, but in general, you would want to mark someone as a "Commenter" if you want their feedback but not want them to make changes to your project. If you do want the person to be able to make changes, be sure to mark them as an "Editor".

Enter the person's email in the field on the left and use the drop down below to determine whether they will be a "Commenter" or "Editor". Then click the blue "Send Invite" button.