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How to Read a Scholarly Article: More on Reading Strategies

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. Interact with the article. 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. 

Adapted from:

Strategies for Reading Scientific Articles


  1. What strategies does the narrator suggest for reading a scholarly article?
  2. What suggested reading strategies have you already used?  What suggested reading strategies are new to you? 
  3. What strategies might you adopt into your own research practice?

How To Read a Scholarly Article

from Western Libraries (2:34)

Strategies for Reading Arts & Humanities Articles

How to Use a Source

To view more specific questions related to the BEAM model, and where to locate that information within a scholarly article,visit See Source Functions: Background, Exhibits, Argument, Method (BEAM): Source Functions (BEAM).

Reading Research Articles (in the Social Sciences)