Reading university research papers

You might have sniffed at the idea of abandoning the pleasures of books and papers in order to squint at a wee screen.


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E-versions of books had seemed more static, difficult to interact with in ways that worked for me. You can also organize them into folders. You need to get a case for it or the screen gets smudged and scraped. Deciding which papers to read and carrying them around with me had also become inconvenient. I can also read more easily while lying on the couch or sitting on a bus or train.

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On the other hand, small print especially in articles with two columns to a page required zooming in unless you want to strain your eyes. In the text file I can also write notes of my own to go with each quote. If this kind of thing sounds useful to you, there are some additional tools that help if you can access them — for example, Adobe Acrobat Pro.


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Scanned texts and there are phone apps that can scan for you have to have OCR applied before you can highlight parts of them; Acrobat Pro is one way to do this here are some others. Questions to consider: How did the author do the research? Is it a qualitative or quantitative project?

What data are the study based on? Could I repeat their work?

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Is all the information present in order to repeat 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 formulate from this data?


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  • And does it match with the Author's conclusions? Questions to ask: What other articles should I read? What other authors are respected in this field?

    Additional Reading Tips When you read these scholarly articles, remember that you will be writing based on what you read. This isn't a mystery novel or movie, you want to start with the spoiler Use any keywords printed by the journals as further clues about the article Look up words you don't know How to Take Notes on the Article Try different ways, but use the one that fits you best. Am I spending too much time on the less important parts of this article? Do I have any reason to question the credibility of this research?

    How to Read a Paper Efficiently (By Prof. Pete Carr)

    What specific problem does the research address and why is it important? How do these results relate to my research interests or to other works which I have read?

    Need more help?

    Search Research Guides Search. Scholarly Articles and Journals Article sections and shortcuts.

    Engaged Learning

    Home Popular vs. Reading Research Articles There is some variation in the way journals format research articles, but there is some standard information that is included no matter what the format. How to Read a Journal Article. Shortcuts to Reading Journal Articles When conducting your own research in the future, you will encounter dozens of possibilities in your search for sources that may be relevant to your research.

    Most often you will find more sources than you can possibly read thoroughly in the time you have to do your project.