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Articles about How To Read an Article

"What is the best way to read a journal article?"


There is no "best way."                      

(But do not read straight through from start to finish.)

On the next tab:

  • Read the suggestions for how to read a journal article
  • Try all of them
  • See which one works best for you

Also, here is one professor's recommendation for "how to read a book."
Paul N. Edwards, School of Information, University of Michigan, August 2017)


Choose the reading strategy that works best for you.

How to read a journal article (SUNY Oswego; updated Jan 2020)
  • "There is no one correct way to read a scientific article. These are only recommendations and there are alternative approaches; in the end, you will develop a style that works best for you."
How to read a research article (Culinary Institute of America guide; updated Sept 2020)
(Scroll down to 3. Steps to Reading a Scholarly Research Article)
  • "...read the paper in up to three passes... Each pass accomplishes specific goals and builds upon the previous pass: The first pass gives you a general idea about the paper. The second pass lets you grasp the paper’s content, but not its details. The third pass helps you understand the paper in depth."

How to Read Scholarly Articles: Strategies for Reading (Harold Washington College; updated April 2022)

Infographic (University of Maine guide; updated April 2021)

How to Read a Scientific Paper (last updated June 2014)