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Scholarly/Peer reviewed Articles: Reading Scholarly Articles

How to locate the type of articles you need

Why is this so difficult to read?

Reading scholarly articles can be a difficult task. Scholars have done their research and written up their results for many reasons, but not for many audiences. Although you as a student need to use the articles in your assignment, they were not written specifically for you. 

The fact is, these scholars are experts in their field writing for other experts. They are using specialized language that can be difficult for someone new to understand. So, you can sit down with an article and start reading, but you may become discouraged pretty quickly.

The tips below are to help you read scholarly articles STRATEGICALLY. These tips can help you approach a scholarly text for easier reading and better understanding. 

Quick tips

Jump Around​
It's okay to skip around in a scholarly article. Start by skimming the abstract, introduction, conclusion, and look at images or data representations. If the article looks to be useful for your purposes, read it from the beginning to end. 

Keep It Strategic
While you are reading, reflect on how the article relates to what you want to write about or research. ​​ 

Mark It Up
​​Take notes. How do the ideas or information presented relate to what you want to write about?

Cut through the Jargon
Unfamiliar technical terms? Google or use a specialized dictionary to find definitions. 

If the article is relevant after you've read through it, consider reading it again. 

Find the Source 
​References can be a very useful resource. Be sure to skim the titles in the References section. You could find another scholarly article you want to read. 

How to Read a Scholarly Article