What is the best way to read a research paper and to understand it?
Reading a research paper is a totally different ballgame. You cannot go about reading it as you would read a normal news article. I mean, you can, but with little success. Firstly, for reading and truly understanding a research paper, it is needless to say that you need to be familiar with the topic.
Reading and understanding a research paper takes time and patience. It is a skill that every person in the scientific field has to master. When you read your first research paper, it takes a long time. If you were wondering how you ever going to do it, don’t worry, because Academic Writing Pro has got it all sorted out for you. Therefore, buckle up as our academic writing services take you through this article!
In order to understand a research paper in the best way, you need to take notes, do some research of your own, and look into other books and resources on the side in order to grasp every single detail. However, as you gain experience, life becomes much easier.
Most research articles are divided into the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion. In order to comprehend all these sections effectively, you must follow certain steps.
You must also sure to check the authenticity of the research paper you are about to get into. The quality and validity will vary for different institutions.
Anyhow, why don’t you join us in formulating the steps you need to follow in order to understand a research paper?
Get to the introduction first instead of the abstract.
The abstract is that paragraph found in the beginning of any research article. It talks briefly about the topic, states why it is chosen, and how the author plans on rectifying or improving it. This part is usually for people who are not quite familiar with the field the topic belongs to.
The author also imparts some of his/her interpretations in the abstract, so it is better to just read the introduction instead (and keep the abstract for last) in order to not form an opinion prematurely.
Try to look into the topic.
When reading a research paper, you need to understand why it was written. Look into it and try to figure out what question is being asked, and how it is being solved. Also try figuring out the causes related to the question and why it was raised in the first place.
Additionally, you must be well informed about what work has already been done in order to address the issue at hand and what work is being done currently. You need to know the limitations and further steps that need to be taken.
Approach the problem!
As you read on, you will get to a part where the author explains how he/she will be addressing the problem.
This part forms the ‘methodology’ section of the research paper. Look at the different steps being taken to solve the problem and examine every single diagram and illustration. Try to make sense of them and draw if need be.
Get to the results.
You will then be reading on towards the results section.
The results section explains the, well, results, without necessary mentioning what they mean. That part comes later. Most of the time, results can be found in tables and figures. They need to be paid special attention.
Also pay heed to words such as significant, non-significant, accurate, etc.
Now, try thinking about the meaning of the results. Form your own opinions by interpreting the study and think deeply before you proceed to the discussion part.
It is a good practice to not get influenced by others’ interpretations and forming your own. Think deeply and ask yourself if you agree with the results or not. Try identifying any weakness in the author’s study and think of ways you can improve that certain aspect.
At the last, go through the abstract.
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