How to Read and Summarize Journal Articles in 30 minutes
Before you start reading, grab a highlighter. Highlight the important parts. This will help you when you go to summarize the article.
Read the Abstract. This part is key. It basically summarizes the entire paper, so pay attention. Doesn't say Abstract anywhere? It's the first paragraph after the title of the paper.
Skip to the back and read the Discussion section. If you feel that you have enough information from the Abstract and Discussion, write your summary of the article.
Need more information? Go back to the Methods sections. This should give you plenty of information. There should be sub-sections within the Methods sections, use the headings to weed out the sections that you don't need.
Still uncomfortable. Read the Results sections, but skip over all the numbers (you will only get bogged down in unnecessary, confusing details).
Tips & Warnings
Abstract and Discussion, the two most important parts
If you are needing to know how the study was conducted, skip to the Methods section.
Just need to know what the results were? You can find a brief description in the Abstract or for further detail go to the Results section.
Don't bother with the introduction. It's just a review of past research. It doesn't tell you anything about the study you are wanting to summarize
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