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How to Read Scientific Papers Well

Reading a scientific paper can be daunting. Here is a relatively quick process to go through the pile of papers that you probably already have accumulated.. We’ll go through separating those that are unnecessary for your research from those that you need to read. I also include a method to study those papers that are hard to grasp.

*Remember that this paper took probably months to write, take your time to read it and understand what the authors did and what they intended to do. According to study help experts if it is a difficult paper it may seem like a lot to read it 3 times (scanning, first read, critical reading) but it will save you a great deal of time to do it well once, and not having to reread the paper 10 times in pieces.. and not really understand it anyway.

Watch out! not all well written papers are great studies..

Scanning through Papers:

Look at the title.. (keep in account that titles don’t always describe properly what the article contains). Scan through the Abstract and Conclusion. This will help you define if the paper is of use for your research or not at all. Once you have determined that you do in fact need to read this paper…

The First Read Through:

Start by reading (in this order preferrably):

Abstract Introduction Conclusion look through the References By now you should know what problem is that the authors are addressing. Why the problem is important, what the authors propose as a solution and how this contributes to your area of study.


Reading Most Papers:

Write down questions you have as you go along.

Here are some questions that may help you out highlight the most important things:

What are the important ideas? (just because an author says something is important doesn’t mean it really is) Do their results make sense? Are their methods sound? What assumptions are they making? What improvements/extensions do they contribute?

Studying Those Difficult to Grasp Papers:

Make an outline of the paper. You can ask homework questions online free or highlight the major points of the paper, this can be as detailed as you need it to be. Create a list of questions if you don’t understand the author’s solution, proof, methods or results.

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