How to Read a Research Paper

Do not read every paper in it’s entirety.

This is going to waste a lot of time.

Quick workflow

Title > Abstract > Conclusion > Results > Discussion > Figures and Tables > Materials > Methods

  1. Read the title
  2. Read the abstract and conclusion
  3. Read introduction
  4. Read results and discussion
  5. Look through the figures, tables, and images.
  6. Read materials and methods

Tips for Difficult Papers

  1. Slow down.
  2. Staring at the paper through your screen might strain your eyes. Print it instead.
  3. Use highlighters and sticky notes sparingly!
    • Research has conclusively shown that highlighting and rereading are ineffective for retaining information. They are best used to flag specific keywords or phrases that you want to spot first when you pick the paper back up again.
  4. Work uninterrupted.
    • I had friends that loved going to a popular coffee shops to study. I personally found those places distracting because I always wanted to socialize. Instead, I liked going to the library and finding lowkey spots when I needed to do serious amounts of reading.
  5. Rereading is OK!

This post is currently being worked on.