The world has undoubtedly advanced in many ways, and so is reading. However, the habit of reading academic articles is somewhat different from what people used to do in yesteryears. The presence of Google and other search engines have made it possible for the researchers to do their work in record time. This argument has been made in some academic quarters indicating that the electronic search engines are more time efficient and yields results on some broad research questions that are rich than what traditional readers of academic articles can hope to obtain and retain from general scanning and reading the work of their peers.
This seems like a very radical departure from the traditional reading of academic materials and traditional values of academia. Academic articles are part of the sources for a research paper, which condenses years of knowledge and experiments into several pages. Thinking of a paper from that point of view makes it an awkward expectation of reading it in the first place. Nowadays, there are too many academic papers that to read. The process of reading these papers can be hectic especially if you are not initiated.
If you have to implement any information, you have to read it first,and not just to read it, internalize itto make it effective. In most cases, students are not taught how they can approach reading academic papers. This leads to loss of
- Before reading
The way you read an academic paper is different from the way you read a blog or news article. You do not just read the paper in the order in which it appears, but you also have to read it severally. If you are starting, you will have to spend a lot of time on a single paper. Most research papers have different sections depending on the subject they are tackling and the journal in which it is published. Some papers have supplementary materials to complement the existing sections.
- Reading efficiently
You need to engage in efficient reading to make something out of the academic paper or article. People that want to become avid readers, you have to learn to be able to derive maximum amounts of information using the least effort and time. Since this is important, you have to consider the following sections of the paper:
- The abstract
If the paper you are reading has this section, it gives a general overview of the contents of the paper. If
- The introduction
Provides you with a general overview and setting of the entire paper. Some introductions have a description of important concepts or phrases, which are important as you read.
- The Conclusion
This is where the hypothesis is either accepted or rejected. If you read the conclusion, sometimes it tells you if the paper is worth reading or not, especially if you are looking for a specific way of reading something.
Reading the above sections first will help you in getting a better sense of what the paper is all about. You will also find out if the paper is inline with what you are looking for.
- Read the Methodology last
The methods section can come last in your reading process and should happen only if you have decided that the method and the problem statement plus the findings are relevant to your course. If not, you might get lost in the technicality that is included in the paper.
The methods section is the technical part of the entire paper. It gives the procedures used by the author to provide solutions to the problem. As such, you have to read it severally especially if it involves math. Most importantly, do not be disillusioned if you lose track of some of the mathematical symbols.
- One read will not make you fathom everything
Even the most experienced writers and readers of our time agree that reading in one swoop does not provide the necessary understanding of a piece. Once you encounter something that is hard to decipher you can:
- Go through the unknown word or phrase,and if it is something less important, you can derive its meaning from the context. Any new word that you come across and do not understand is supposed to be noted down because you will revisit it. As such, you will have increased your reading speedand pace.
- Pause and look for the meaning of some words
This helps especially when you are making an in-depth reading of the paper. You can decide on the parts that you are going to give more focus and key insights to look at. In other words, you are cultivating some level of understanding.
- Pay attention to references
If you are dealing with a new subject area, papers from references can be a good read. As you go through them, you will realize that some titles are more common and appear more than once. Even though they might be a little dated, they are crucial in that they define papers that give the reader the best way of doing something.
Finding and reading academic papers is a better way to enhance your understanding of the subject as opposed to picking papers randomly.
- Identify keywords
When it comes to reading academic papers, two phrases stand out. They include ‘key contribution,’ and ‘significant’. The first one indicates a finding that encompasses the primary essence of the paper. The second term gives you the statistical importance of something. In most cases, it is a key outcome from the papers.
- Curiosity helps
If you are an academic, being inquisitive is important. Look at what other authors are doing and get curious about some things in their papers. Do not just accept what type says at face value and run with it. Ask hard questions and put yourself in their perspective to understand their school of thought. These techniques will help you in becoming a better reader, especially with academic papers.
- Speed value and efficiency
The speed at which you read these papers is important. When you are reading one paper, you have cut yourself off from the other papers. When it comes to the value, this is what you derive from the paper. The lesson it offers and if there is nothing to learn from it, moves on to something else. After all, there is too much academic knowledge that can help you to achieve your goals.
Efficiency is also important, and you need
When dealing with academic write-ups, reading is a crucial step in establishing any available knowledge that supports or goes against your topic. Reading academic papers can be tasking, but it is a culture worth developing because it comes in handy when needed. You do not have to read academic papers when you are freaked out. The above techniques can help a lot.