Before you read:
As you read:
After you read:
You will probably find far too many journal articles and book chapters to read for your assignment, and if you try to read all of them the whole way through every time, you'll start to drown in the literature.
So follow these tips for reading articles to read smarter, not harder.
Read the abstract first
The article is summarised in the abstract. If you've read the abstract, but didn't see anything that might be helpful, put that article aside and move on.
Read the introduction and conclusion next
Most of the important details will be mentioned in the introduction and conclusion. If they look promising, move to the skimming phase.
Skim the discussion, then the rest of the article
Read the first sentence of each paragraph and skim through the rest of the paragraphs to look for keywords that stand out. Then you can target the paragraphs with the most useful information to read in more depth.
Scan the reference list
One good article can lead you to another - even an "average" article might lead you do a better one. Take a look at the reference list to find more resources to follow.
A journal (also known as periodical or serial) contains a number of scholarly articles written by different authors. Journals are published at regular intervals throughout the year e.g monthly, quarterly and are available in both print and online formats.
Scholarly articles, also called academic articles, are intended for other experts and scholars, rather than the general public.
It's important to note that scholarly journals also publish:
These are not considered to be scholarly articles. Make sure you look for some other clues before deciding that you're looking at a scholarly article.
This video shows how to identify a scholarly article
If you've been asked to find peer reviewed research, you need to know what a peer reviewed research article looks like.
An academic article, also called a scholarly article, is an article written by an expert in an academic or professional field. These articles are intended for other experts and scholars, rather than the general public. There are several ways to determine whether an article is scholarly. While none of these are hard-and-fast rules, they can be useful clues:
Re-used with permission thanks to Brooke Williams, Research & Instruction Services Librarian, Communication Studies & School of Journalism, Snell Library, Northeastern University.
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