Scholarly sources often have a particular writing style and can be challenging to read compared to other types of sources. When reading scholarly literature, read strategically. Don't start by reading the article from start to finish but rather focus on the sections that will give you the information you need first. This will quickly let you know what the article is about and its relevancy for your research. It will also prepare you for when you’re ready to read the full article, giving you a mental map of its structure and purpose.
Here is a suggestion on how to read a scholarly article and which sections to focus on first.
1. Read the abstract An abstract is a summary of the article, and will give you an idea of what the article is about and how it will be written. If there are lots of complicated subject-specific words in the abstract, the article will be just as hard to read. 2. Read the conclusion This is where the author will repeat all of their ideas and their findings. Some authors even use this section to compare their study to others. By reading this, you will notice a few things you missed, and will get another overview of the content. 3. Read the first paragraph or the introduction This is usually where the author will lay out their plan for the article and describe the steps they will take to talk about their topic. By reading this, you will know what parts of the article will be most relevant to your topic! 4. Read the first sentence of every paragraph These are called topic sentences, and will usually introduce the idea for the paragraph that follows. By reading this, you can make sure that the paragraph has information relevant to your topic before you read the entire thing. 5. The rest of the article Now that you have gathered the idea of the article through the abstract, conclusion, introduction, and topic sentences, you can read the rest of the article! To review: Abstract, Conclusion, Introduction, Topic Sentences, Entire Article
|An article contains a complete argument but is also part of a larger scholarly conversation||An episode contains a complete plot but can also be part of a larger narrative arc.|
|A year's worth of articles adds up to a volume.||A year's work of episodes adds up to a season.|
|These regularly released collection are part of a journal. Some have completed their run, and some are ongoing.||These regularly released collection are part of a series. Some have completed their run, and some are ongoing.|
|Journals are made available by databases.||Series are made available by networks.|
|Some databases, like Artstor and IEEE Explore, are focused on a particular topic. Some databases, like Project Muse and JSTOR, have a wide variety of content.||Some networks, like ESPN and HGTV, are focused on a particular topic. Some networks, like PBS and Netflix, have a wide variety of content.|
OneSearch searches nearly all of the University Library’s databases at the same time. OneSearch also finds books, videos, music, and more. If you need help finding a specific article, choosing a database, or doing any kind of research, call 818-538-7814 or text 818-900-2965. Librarians are here to help.
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