A scholarly paper can be difficult to read. Instead of reading straight through, try focusing on the different sections and asking specific questions at each point.
What is your research question?
When you select an article to read for a project or class, focus on your topic. Look for information in the article that is relevant to your research question.
Read the abstract first as it covers basics of the article. Questions to consider:
Read the introduction and discussion/conclusion. These sections offer the main argument and hypothesis of the article. Questions to consider for the introduction:
Questions for the discussion and conclusion:
Read about the Methods/Methodology. If what you've read addresses your research question, this should be your next section. Questions to consider:
Read the Results and Analysis. Now read the details of this research. What did the researchers learn? If graphs and statistics are confusing, focus on the explanations around them. Questions to consider:
Review the References: These give credit to other scientists and researchers and show you the basis the authors used to develop their research. The list of references, or works cited, should include all of the materials the authors used in the article. The references list can be a good way to identify additional sources of information on the topic. Questions to ask:
When you read these scholarly articles, remember that you will be writing based on what you read.
While you are Reading:
How to Take Notes on the Article
Try different ways, but use the one that fits you best. Below are some suggestions:
Reflect on what you have read - draw your own conclusions. As you read jot down questions that come to mind. These may be answered later on in the article or you may have found something that the authors did not consider. Here are a few questions that might be helpful: