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.