Journal articles are very important sources of knowledge in the scholarly world. Whether you are an academician or a person of curiosity, there is always an article for you to read and educate yourself. So far as academics is concerned, journal articles assume an exceptionally high reputation and are very much needed for appraising the viewpoints of the people about different aspects of the world. In a typical journal article, you will be flooded with a strong flow of information backed by many references, and it may not be as easy to appreciate what has been provided as you had thought.
It is one thing to skim through a journal article, and another thing to actually read and understand it. I am going to focus on the latter. Having read a large share of journal articles myself, I think I am reasonably well-placed to offer some valuable insights into the world of journal reading. Today, you will know about 5 tips that can help in reading journal articles better.
- Choose a quality journal
The first thing is the journal itself. Today, libraries, both online and offline, are packed with journals from all places in the world. However, despite the volumes of journals available, you should know that every one of them is not worthy of consideration. Many bogus, poor-quality journals are available which are not peer-reviewed and indexed. These journals are just there to mint money and not contribute to scholarship. That being said, I do not mean to say that all journals which charge processing fees are bogus; however, there are a lot of paid publications which are so you must take caution. Check the date of the first issue, number of volumes, members of the editorial committee, indexing, details of the authors publishing content in there, and others.
- Read the Abstract
Before you start reading the article, make sure you have read the abstract. An Abstract is a short, concise summary of the article and guides the reader about the intention of the author in the article. A typical journal article runs for more than 15 pages so read the abstract first to ascertain whether you actually want to read it in the first place. Many people skip abstract because they find it inconsequential but it is the abstract itself which offers you a quick insight into what to expect—something that can save a lot of time.
- Sit With Something To Write Notes On
It does not matter whether it is your cellphone or a page from a notebook. There must always be something to write on. Even if all you are doing is reading through, always keep something to take notes on. Reading a journal article is understanding what has been provided, and there may be times when you’d be interested in something which has been written or are unable to understand completely. Writing notes will help you to keep tabs on your progress; it will tell you which areas you appreciate and which you do not.
- Check the references
A good journal article would have a number of authentic references that add to the information already provided in the main content. Once you are done reading, you should consider going back to the references used and read from them. In case you do not understand anything written anywhere in the article, there will most likely be a reference attached which you should refer to for clarity. One reference will lead to another and eventually, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. This trick works, especially, well when you are researching and writing a project yourself. It saves a lot of time in research and provides easier access to information.
- Move Ahead Only When You Are Sure
Commonly found is the tendency of people to skip over the parts which they do not understand. Note that everything the author had written would have a bearing on the information provided. Also, if you skip parts just because you don’t understand, then it means you do not understand the article fully. Take your time and move forward only when you are sure that you have understood the context. If at all you want to read ahead, then make notes and come back to the issue once done reading. You need to be patient while reading or will fail to fully comprehend the information offered.
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