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Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Journals: How to Read a Scholarly Article

Reading a scholarly article effectively is quite different than how you would read a novel. Most novels are intended to be read as a whole, front to back. Scholarly articles on the other hand are meant to be dissected like a pie into many different pieces, such as an Abstract, Discussion or Methods section. Skipping around in a novel would be a little confusing, but it's encouraged when reading a scholarly article.                                                       


Check out this Anatomy of a Scholarly Article interactive tutorial that shows the where the pieces fit in an article


 A brief description of the scholarly article in the form of a title. It should at least give you a general idea about what the article is about. 


A preview of the scholarly article. It should address the purpose, method and results that will be found in the article. 


Describes the purpose of the scholarly article. May provide an overview of the field and previous research in the form of a Literature Review. 


Describes how the research and what type of research was conducted. 


Presents the outcome of the research. 


Analyzes the results to determine what potential impact it could have on the scholarly field or community. 


Reiterates points made throughout the article, including potential for further research. 


Works cited throughout the scholarly article by the author. The list should contain all the relevant information needed for you to find the resource for yourself. 

Jump Around

​ It's okay to skip around in a scholarly article. If the article looks to be useful for your purposes then you can 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?


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.


This page is adapted and remixed with permission from: How to Read a Scholarly Article by the Odum Library of Valdosta State University.