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College Now - Summer STEM Research Program: Reading Articles Tips

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.

More Web Resources on How to Read Scientific Articles

YouTube Video: How to Read a Science Paper

Here is the YouTube Video we watched in class about reading articles.

This video was created by biology students at Georgetown University in conjunction with Bio 504 course taught by Dr. Janet Russell, Fall 2007.

Science Librarian

Stacy Katz's picture
Stacy Katz
Contact:
250 Bedford Park Blvd W
Bronx, NY 10468
718.960.7767