Part 3: Reading a Scholarly Article

Unlike reading novels, scholarly articles do not need to be read from start to finish, in order. There’s another, more efficient way to approach reading articles. The chart below provides a suggested reading order and questions you should ask yourself about each section.

Read These First

These four give you a high-level view of the article.

Hypothesis & conceptual framework
Results & suggested research
Ask yourself: Does the article entice me to read further? Ask yourself: Can I determine if it is worth reading more of the article? Ask yourself: Why is the research important? Ask yourself: Are the conclusions logically supported by the results?

Then, Dive for Details

These next four give you the particulars of the article.

Supported or failed hypothesis & limitations Describe participants and tables & figures Scientific procedures identified & explained Influencing, supporting, or conflicting work
Ask yourself: Is the meaning of the results discussed? Ask yourself: Are important results connected explicitly to the hypothesis? Ask yourself: Are methods thoroughly explained? Are methods presented in chronological order? Ask yourself: Are references current and comprehensive? Do I need any of these in my study?

When you are ready, answer the questions in “Part 3: Reading a Scholarly Article” of your worksheet.


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