FIRST- Read the Abstract
If the Abstract fits within the scope of your research, read more. If it doesn't, don't bother reading the article.
NEXT- Jump down to the Discussion & Conclusions
This is the essential part of the article; it will tell you what the researchers learned.
THEN- Read the Introduction & Literature review
This will give you background and context.
FINALLY- Read the other sections.
TIP: Don’t forget to look at the References at the end. They can be helpful for building your own bibliography.
Take notes as you go. If you find a quote, write it down with the author's last name and page number that it came from.
Think critically as you read:
Article Title: is it long and descriptive?
Author(s): what are the author's credentials? Are they affiliated with a university or research center?
Article Length: is the article at least 5 pages?
Sections: does the article have sections like Abstract, Introduction, Methods, and Conclusions?
References: is there lengthy reference list at the end of the article?
Abstract: concise summary of the research, including purpose, results & implications.
Introduction & Literature Review: Describes problem, importance of research, and previous research on the topic.
Methods: procedures or methods used to carry out research. Varies by discipline.
Results: Data collected as a result of research. Typically given in statistics and in form of tables, charts, and graphs.
Discussion: Summary of results. Implications and directions for future reserach.
References: Works cited in the paper. Useful to find relevant articles.