Writing Resources

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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

These articles and other things will suggest ways to read an article.

Choose the one 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."

Infographic (University of Maine guide; updated April 2021)