Tips for Reading Scholarly and Journal Articles

Assigned Reading for Class/Homework

Order in Which to Read Sections/Where the Most Energy Should Go Why These Sections Are the Main Focus Questions to Keep in Mind While Reading
  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Conclusion

  • Discussion

  • Results

To get the main gist of the article, for a latte post or in-class discussions

How is this article relevant to course content?

How will this article be utilized after I read it?

What are some quotes/paraphrases?

What is the main argument?

Do I agree?

Reading in Preparation for an Essay Exam

Order in Which to Read Sections/Where the Most Energy Should Go Why These Sections Are the Main Focus Questions to Keep in Mind While Reading
  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Conclusion

  • Discussion

  • Results (might read article multiple times)

To get the main gist of the article, to have some paraphrases, to prepare how you will use in essay

What are big questions that I might be asked?

Do I only need the main point(s)/themes and results of the article or very specific details?

Tip: Determining how much time to spend on each source can be dependent on how many articles to study (i.e., 1-2 more, 7-8 less)

Determining Sources for a Paper

Order in Which to Read Sections/Where the Most Energy Should Go Why These Sections Are the Main Focus Questions to Keep in Mind While Reading
  • Abstract

  • Conclusion

These should be enough to decide if it is a match and possible source

What is the author’s argument and is it well supported?

­ Is it a good match for my argument?

What is my research question?

What is the author’s question?

How might this be used in my argument?

Once Determined as a Source, Finding Citations for a Paper

Order in Which to Read Sections/Where the most Energy should go Why These Sections Are the Main Focus Questions to Keep in Mind While Reading
  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Conclusion

  • Discussion

  • Results (might read article multiple times)

Should be able to find/utilize citations and main points from these sections

Does this support my argument? ­

Where is the right place to add it in? ­

Do I agree with the author and findings? ­

How will I use this in my argument?

Research Project/ Independent Study/Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM)

Order in Which to Read Sections/Where the Most Energy Should Go Why These Sections Are the Main Focus Questions to Keep in Mind While Reading

All Parts:

  • Abstract

  • Introduction

  • Conclusion

  • Discussion

  • Results

  • Body

  • References (might read article multiple times)

To identify research goal, what was proved, how was proven, the variables, any gaps, future research to use

What’s the author’s argument? is it well supported?

Focus on research question; related to proposed major/discipline?

Does this support or raise questions for my argument?

What didn’t get studied?

Holes?

Future study?