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Best Practice for Reading Academic Articles
Read in 3 passes
Get a sense of the framework and major conclusions; underline unfamiliar words, methods, and concepts; evaluate the quality of the study
- Skim through
- Section headings
- Tables, diagrams, & captions
- What is the thesis of the paper?
- What are the main arguments?
- Why is this paper important?
- How does it contribute to the field?
- What questions do I still have about the study or its findings?
- Summarize – 1-2 sentences what the paper is about
Scan the full text of the article, getting a better sense of the research conducted
- Pay closer attention to beginning and ending of each section
- Pay attention to highlighted sections from first pass and look up elements you’re not familiar with
- Answer all questions you had about the paper
Reflect on and analyze the paper (this analysis can often be used in your own paper)
- Take another look at
- Take notes in your own words
- Did the authors do what they set out to do?
- Are their methods sound?
- Are their arguments logical?
- What assumptions did they make?
Takes notes as you read!
Use this template as you read through scholarly articles to help you pick out the relevant elements for your paper.