Writing Resources

Is This Article Relevant to My Research? A Guide to Skimming

Step 1: Read the Abstract

The abstract is a summary of the article. By reading this, you can get a sense of the content, the scope of the research, the author's methodology and the academic level of the article.

Step 2: Read the Conclusion

Authors usually repeat their main ideas and their final findings in the conclusion. This will give you an overview of the article and help determine if it is relevant to your research.

Step 3: Read the First Paragraph or the Introduction

This is where an author usually lays out his or her plan for the rest of the article. This can help you determine what the article contributes to the field.

Step 4: Read the First Sentence of Every Paragraph

The first sentence (or topic sentence) will convey the main idea for that paragraph. See something interesting? Read the rest.

Step 5: The Rest of the Article

Once you have determined if an article is relevant to your research, read more carefully, paying attention to the author's argument and evidence.