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Geology Research Guide

Learn about conducting research on Geology using PCC Library resources.

How to Read a Scientific Article

“Reading a scientific article is a complex task. The worst way to approach this task is to treat it like the reading of a textbook--reading from title to literature cited, digesting every word along the way without any reflection or criticism” (Purugganan & Hewitt 2004).

This handout, How to Read a Scientific Article, written by Dr. Mary Purugganan and Dr. Jan Hewitt, provides a helpful breakdown of how to approach reading a scholarly, scientific article:

  1. Skim the article and identify its structure
  2. Distinguish main points
  3. Generate questions and be aware of your understanding
  4. Draw inferences
  5. Take notes as you read

Review the handout (linked above) for discussion of each of these strategies in more detail.