How to Read a Journal Article

This guide is designed to help you understand the composition of a journal article, identify the general research method used, and evaluate the content.

About this Guide

Welcome to the How to Read a Journal Article research guide! Here, you will find information to help you understand the composition of a journal article, identify the general research method used, and evaluate the content.

Basic Advice

  • Read the introduction first.  Try to really understand the purpose of the experiment/study.  This will save a lot of time if it turns out that the article was not as relevant as you initially thought.
  • Skim the methods section for major points, not detail (unless this is specifically the information you wanted from the article).  It will involve dense language and technical specifications that might make more sense once you understand the rest of the article.
  • Don't worry too much about the professional jargon that you do not understand, especially on the first reading, but don't be afraid to stop and look up the words you think are important.
  • If you are working on a group project, read the article individually, and then get together as a group to discuss the major results and conclusions as you understand them.

Articles - How to read an article

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