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BIO 184: Plants and People: Reading Articles Tips

Plants and People

Online Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

When reading scientific articles you may come across vocabulary you do not comprehend.  These two online resources below can help you understand the concepts and words you do not know.

Primary Reserarch Article Sections

Abstract  – Brief sumrary of the article

Introduction – Explains the purpose of the research and summarizes/comments on previous research

Methods –  Tells you what equipment and materials were used and explains step by step the experiment conducted.

Results – Explains what was observed during the experiment/study.  This is where the data collected is found.

Discussion/Conclusion – Contains the conclusions that the author would like to draw from the data.  The interpretation of the data occurs here.

Deciphering Academese

"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com

Suggested Primary Research Article Reading Outline

Reading the sections of an article following the typical article outline can be overwhelming.  There is no one best way to read an article, but below is a suggested order for reading the sections of a paper so that you can get the most information out of an article.

Typical Article Outline

Suggested Article Reading Outline

Abstract Abstract
Introduction Introduction
Method Conclusion
Results Discussion
Discussion Results
Conclusion Method
References References

Questions to Consider While Reading Your Article

The documnet below provides lists of questions to consider when reading the different sections of a primary research article.

How to Read and Comprehend Scientific Research Articles

This tutorial from The University of Minnesota, will discuss how to read a scientific article, how to find the main points of the article, and how to take effective notes..

Science Librarian

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Stacy Katz
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