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Bundle - Assignment Resources

Library research resources for English Comp. Intro to Psychology, and Intro to Sociology


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EBSCOhost Video Tutorials

Gale Tutorials (Academic OneFile)

Scholarly Article Databases

How to Read Scholarly Articles Step-by-Step

Scholarly articles are pretty intense! I don't know if I will understand it!

scholarly article icon

  • you don't have to read the whole thing or read it word for word - skim or scan it
  • just focus on your topic
  • look for information in the article that is relevant to your research 
  • take notes as you read
  • check out the tips below

1. Read the abstract first -  it tells you what the article is about

  • in your notes, jot down ...
    • what the article is about
    • the working hypothesis or thesis
    • how it relates to your research

2. Next, read the introduction and discussion/conclusion - covers the main argument, hypothesis/ purpose of the article.

  • jot down...
    • what the author found and how they found it
    • what the research means and why is it important
    • new (to you) information about the topic
    • note if the information was presented factually or with a hint of bias
    • strengths or weaknesses in the argument
    • whether or not you find the conclusion valid and why
  • if the article works for you, move to the Methods/Methodology section
  • if not, delete the article and move on to another

3.  Read about the Methods/Methodology.  (Skimming is okay.)

  • jot down how the author did the research (study survey, etc)
    • note if the research is qualitative (describes something) or quantitative (measures something) 
    • jot down a brief example of how the author did the research

4. Read the results and analysis (may be called "conclusion" or "discussion")

  • jot down...
    • what did the researchers learn?
      • If graphs and statistics are confusing, focus on the explanations around them.
    • what did the author find and how did they find it?
    • are the results presented in a factual and unbiased way?
    • does their analysis agree with the data presented?
    • is all the data present?
    • what conclusions do YOU come to from this data?
      • does it match with the author's conclusions?

5. Look at the author's References or Works Cited List 

  • should include all of the materials the authors used in the article
  • gives credit to other scientists and researchers 
  • identifies other authors respected in the field
  • identifies additional sources of information on the topic 
  • shows the basis the author(s) used to develop their research 
  • identifies other articles in the list you might read

If you prefer, watching to reading, check out the short video below for a video explanation about what to look for in a scholarly article.

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