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Research Survival Guide: Reading and Analyzing Articles

This guide will help you learn how to conduct college-level research for your classes.

Reading and Analyzing Research Articles

Is Reading Research Articles Different than Reading Popular Articles?

Academic research articles are organized and written differently than popular articles/sources. Research articles usually contain 5-7 different sections; work through this Anatomy of a Scholarly Article Tutorial to learn what sections a research article consists of.

Anatomy of a Scientific Paper

Research articles can also include a literature review in the introduction. Literature reviews provides background on research already conducted in the field.

Research articles should not be read from beginning to end. To get the most out of an article for the least amount of effort, reading a research article should be done strategically.

  • Read the abstract, discussion/conclusion, and introduction (in that order) to figure out whether the article is relevant.
  • Go back and read the rest of the article.
  • Read the whole article from beginning to end.
  • Watch this video from Western University Libraries to learn why you should read scholarly articles differently!

Reading an Academic Article

Take a look at our Evaluating Resources page to learn how to see if your articles are scholarly and relevant to your topic.