How To Read a Scholarly Journal Article

How To Read a Scholarly Journal Article


Reading a scholarly article is different
than reading a novel You don’t have to read every word from beginning to end at least not to start with. I’m going to walk you through how I read a scholarly
article in order to help you increase your comprehension while saving you some time. Before you
begin reading be sure you have a clear topic statement or research question in
mind Mine is, “how to use social networking
sites like Facebook and YouTube contribute to
bullying in schools and how can this situation be prevented?” Here I’ve identified some search keywords which I’ve used to find a
scholarly article in an EBSCOhost database. The article
I’ve chosen is called “Parental mediation: Online
activities and cyber-bullying” written by a researcher named Mesch and this is from the journal Cyber
Psychology and Behavior Let’s open up the full text of this
article and have a look The first step is to read the Abstract This is a summary of the article which
will help me to decide if it’s relevant to my topic This article is a research study on a
fairly new topic in the field of psychology It looks like they found that parenting
is an important factor in cyberbullying By the way it’s good to make note of key
terms like “cyberbullying” that the professionals are using This term could be useful for future
searches Based on the abstract I can see that
this article may help me answer my research question so I’ll go ahead and have a closer look. Rather than reading this nine-page article word-for-word, I’ll start by reading the introduction. I’ll just
let my eyes can quickly over the sentences looking for key ideas. I may want to paraphrase or quote these ideas later so if I were reading this in print I would highlight or underline them. I
also notice that the author frequently refers to other research studies This is common practice in scholarly
literature; the author is providing me some context by summarizing what else has been
published on this topic If I wish, I may look up his cited
articles later on Here he gets into parental mediation, one of his main points He also points out the potential flaws
in his study which gives him points for honesty. Still,
this article went through the process of peer review, so I can be pretty confident of his findings. Speaking of findings there are some key sections that are
typical of research articles like this We’ve seen the Abstract and Introduction You’ll also find a Conclusion section near
the end It may be called something else; in this
case it’s called Discussion but it basically tells us what the
researcher discovered in doing his study I’m going to skip to this section right now.
Remember we’re not reading a novel so it’s okay to peek at the ending Some of Mesch’s findings sound
interesting to me so I highlight or underline them Since he’s piqued my curiosity about
rules for visiting web sites I’ll go back to the Results section to
read his findings in more detail He goes into a lot of statistics, which
is typical of a research study Sometimes I read the narrative
discussion of the results but sometimes I glance first at a stats table to get a quick visual overview For instance I quickly noticed that kids
with more highly educated parents weren’t necessarily less likely to be
bullied. I can read the narrative description to find out why Ah, here’s where he talks about parental
roles and how they seem to have a beneficial effect I’ll probably read the results in more
detail but I should point out the Methods
section; this section will tell me what kind of research the author did, a survey in this case, how it was
conducted, and details about the participants After discussing the results of his
study the author recommends further research that his colleagues in the
field may want to do Finally, don’t overlook the References
section at the end This isn’t just here to impress you with
how much Dr. Mesch has read on this topic; This list and the accompanying footnotes
allow you to read on this topic in more detail if you wish That’s part of the scholarly process —
helping others learn while advancing the level of knowledge in one’s field of study. So, having read through
this article for just a few minutes I believe I have some excellent material to quote or summarize in my research paper Of course I may want to go back and read
this article from start to finish, but by knowing what sections to look in and having a clear research focus I’ve saved myself some time and have
gotten some good results If you need further help finding
scholarly journal articles please view the appropriate video
tutorials or contact the librarians at the reference desk

26 thoughts on “How To Read a Scholarly Journal Article

  1. Hi @EngelderStille91 – The home screen you see is EBSCO Host, a search platform for finding magazine and journal articles. It's available with password access from many academic libraries. Hope this helps.

  2. Thanks for this–it is clear and the graphics help the viewer to follow along. I am going to direct my Health Education students to this page to help with reading academic articles for their Senior Projects.

  3. Nicely done.  I'm going to share this with my students in a technical writing course. They are studying project management.

  4. This right up there with my Crock Pot as it is provides EXTREMELY helpful, efficient strategies for a doctoral student who works full time and who happens to be a single parent.  I will share this video with my cohort!

  5. This video helped a lot. I have to do a journal article presentation for class. I feel a little better about what I'm going to point out in my discussion.

  6. Great explanation! I would add that references have another role in addition to providing context and directions for further reading. They are critical in supporting any idea that the author uses as a premise for their research question, design and data interpretation.

  7. Fantastic! I just shared with my child development class. Lots of freshman who have never read a research article. This will really help them a lot!

  8. Perfect explanation that was summarized clearly and briefly. Just what I needed as a refresher. Detailed without being too long and overwhelming. I learned some hidden secrets as well. Great job!

  9. Yes, my Ph.D. advisor published an article at Journal of American Academic Research. I read it by using methods mentioned in this video.

  10. Sometimes there isn't a clear onset of the Introduction or when it ends. What would I look for to delineate the end of an introduction?

  11. thanks, Tim Lockman! Really helpful video which effectively demonstrates the reading process of quickly searching within for an article for information of relevance to a research question or an assignment topic as well.

    I would like to know if it's possible at this stage to correct some of the typos in the closed caption transcript that can be chosen by students e.g. do for to use; peaked for piqued – or is this a fully automated process that producers of videos just have to live with?

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  13. So hyped…
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