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CMST 5110: Reading Scholarly Articles


How to Read Research Articles

Scholarly articles are often different from other content you might be familiar with. It is helpful to understand the different sections and what you can find within each section! Watch the video to learn more.

Steps for Reading Research Articles

1. Read the abstract: This will allow you to get a framework of the article before you dive into it. Understanding the purpose of the article will help guide you as you read it. 

2. Skim the entire article: Read the article all the way through without taking notes and get the gist of the article. Get familiar with the topic. 

3. Take notes: Read the article again - this time more focused and take notes. Highlight key points, jot down any questions.

4. Relevancy? Jot down anything that stands out as relevant to you and why. This will help you later if you need to utilize this information in a report, etc.

5. Identify & summarize key info: What are the key findings? How did they prove this? Did they prove this? Were there limitations? Are there lingering questions? Implications for further research?

6. Check the sources: Who does the author cite? Are they relevant to your topic? You can look up the articles' citations and utilize the research as well.

Anatomy of a Research Article

Understanding the different sections of a research article is also helpful. 

Abstract: General overview of the purpose and findings.

Introduction: Rationale and introduction to the study's hypothesis.

Methods: How data was gathered and tested.

Results: What was found from the testing. 

Discussion: Implications from the results and areas for further research.

Conclusion: Summary of the article and discussion of limitations. 

References: A list of all the other research cited throughout the work.

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