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FYE: Weird Things

This guide will help you learn how to navigate the library resources.

Reading Journal Articles

Reading scholarly literature can be challenging. The easiest way to approach reading these articles is to focus on certain sections first. 

Information on the different sections of a primary scientific article can be found here. 

Here are some tips to help you approach your reading:

  • Start with reading the abstract
    • This section will give you a general idea about what the article is about
    • If you don't know what a word means, look it up (Wikipedia is your friend)
  • Jump to the conclusion/discussion
    • This section will give you a broad overview of what they found and what they think it means
  • Read the introduction
    • This section will expand upon why the research was done and provide a variety of relevant references
  • If you like the article, use the references section to find more similar articles and resources!


For a more detailed understanding of the research:

  • Look and think about the figures and charts
    • Do the figures back up the claims made in the conclusion?  Are there any issues?
  • Read the results and methods
    • Think about whether the figures match with the results and whether the claims in the conclusion are backed up by the evidence presented.

If you are confused, ask for help!  Your professor and I can assist you.

►Hear what NC State Professors have to say about how they approach reading a scholarly article. (7:00 min video)