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EP 48: How to Read an Academic Article When you are Short on Time

Here on the show we talk a lot about how to write academic papers. We have talked in the past about how to speed read, but we haven’t talked a lot about how to get through reading all the journal articles your professor assigns when it seems like you don’t have enough time.

We all know the feeling of cramming in information before a deadline or a class the next day. Join Cath Anne on Episode 48 as she walks you through how to read a journal article when you are short on time!

Looking for study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student? Welcome to The Homework Help Show, a weekly show where we teach, assist, and offer valuable insights for student life. From study hacks to writing tips, discussions about student mental health to step-by-step guides on academic writing and how to write a resume, we’ve got you covered. Want your questions answered? Write them below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #askHHG

TRANSCRIPT:

Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Hi guys and welcome back to our channel. My name is Cath Anne and this is The Homework Help Show hosted by Homework Help Global. Here On the show we provide you with valuable content for your academic and student life. Let’s jump in.

Cath Anne: [00:00:18] Here on the show we talk a lot about how to write academic papers and how to outline academic papers and write thesis statements. However we don’t talk a lot about how to read research papers especially when you don’t have a lot of time.

Cath Anne: [00:00:44] We all know the feeling of cramming in that last paragraph of a journal article before you head to class or reading an article. Just before you have to go into a test the next day. Today we wanted to walk you through it step by step process to help you to read a journal article when you are pressed for time.

Cath Anne: [00:01:06] Now before we get into how to read a journal article when you are pressed for time let’s talk about the importance of reading journal articles in the first place, especially when we live in a world where we have access to information at our fingertips. As a student you are probably always pressed for time, reading a journal article might seem like it just takes a little bit of extra time that you do not have. However the importance of reading a journal article is that it is quality research that has been peer reviewed. Another reason it is really important to read journal articles is because they contribute to the ongoing research on a particular topic. When you read a journal article you can go more in-depth with your research specifically if you are in more intensive classes and you’re interested in the research involved in that specific topic. It is important for you to be familiar with the literature that exists in that area. Another reason it is important is that instead of doing a specific or really focused google search. Reading literature and reading journal articles can open up the opportunity for you to think a little deeper about the information and get familiar with the information that exists on a specific topic. Finally, these articles are very important because often we forget that they are research they contribute to the body of research that exists out there. And without these we are unable to continue to build on the research that already exists. This is a very important part of why professors love you to read research articles.

Cath Anne: [00:02:57] Okay, now let’s get into the bulk of this video which is how to read a journal article when you are pressed on time – which is likely all the time because I know you are a busy student.

Cath Anne: [00:03:11] First of all do not panic. You are not the only one who has ever been in this situation before. Take a step back and take a few deep breaths. You might even want to consider meditation before you start reading the way you enter a studying situation or reading situation can really impact how much information you take in the long run. If you are in a negative headspace it may not be the best time to start reading or start learning because you won’t retain as much information. So really make sure that you are settled down and that you’re not panicking you are not the first one to be in a rush to read a journal article before you go to class the next day. So give yourself a break. Sit down grab a cup of tea and settle in for some learning.

Cath Anne: [00:04:01] Second, get a pen and paper. When you use a pen and paper to write down notes while you’re reading or studying. This can really help you to absorb the information. This is because instead of passively reading you are actually engaging with the material and when you try to recall it in the long run you will not only have something written down on paper your brain will also remind you of the things that you have written because you are engaged with the material.

Cath Anne: [00:04:30] Then you’ll want to begin with the abstract. For those who aren’t familiar with and abstract it is the little paragraph at the top of a journal article. Usually it is written in italics and it will say abstract right beside it. Essentially the abstract is a smaller version of the whole research article. It will provide you with the important details and a breakdown of what’s to follow in the essay or the research article. If you read the abstract first you will be familiar with all of the important points to come and you will be prepped to take in more information when you are reading the article.

[00:05:11] Second you will definitely want to look at the introduction. Think about the research article as a story you’ll want to be familiar with the characters the setting and the content all of this information will be provided to you in the introduction and you will know what to expect throughout the body of the essay.

Cath Anne: [00:05:33] Now if you are really pressed on time if you have a class in about 15 minutes you can skip right to the conclusion after reading the abstract and the introduction. However if you do have about 15 or 20 minutes to spare consider reading the discussion section of the article the discussion section will answer all of the why questions that you may have when you are reading the conclusion. If flushes out any of the information that you may have questions about. However if you don’t have time certainly skip right to the conclusion. If you’re wanting a bit more in-depth reading and a bit more in-depth understanding consider reading the discussion section.

Cath Anne: [00:06:18] Finally, read the conclusion the conclusion will provide a roundup of all of the important points discussed in the article. It will round out the research and give you a sense of the conclusions which were made about the research. Finally it’ll answer any questions you might have about the research and make suggestions for the impact of the research.

Cath Anne: [00:06:45] Moving forward now I wanted to give you a few specific tips. If you are in a real crunch to get a journal article read before class. The first time I wanted to discuss is to speed read with care way back in episode 10 of The Homework Help Show we discussed speed reading and if you want any more information on speed reading definitely check out that episode. However in a nutshell. Be careful when you are scanning or skimming an article when you don’t spend time with an article you may not retain as much information. So I would recommend taking your time and writing some notes engaging with the material instead of scanning or skimming. Although it might seem like you are retaining information it is more likely that you are not just be careful when your speed reading. And again if you need some more information jump on over to episode 10 now if you have some extra time you might want to consider reading all of the subheadings throughout the article along with the subheadings read the first few sentences of each paragraph underneath the subheading. This will give you a much more thorough understanding of the research and make you understand the literature a little bit deeper. Finally take note of the limitations and the implications of the research. Then think about how these implications might apply to real life in this way. You are more likely to fully understand the research. And to remember what it is all about. You’ll be able to recall it when you have to write an essay in the future or you have to have a discussion during class.

Cath Anne: [00:08:33] Okay so that’s it for me this week guys. I hope this video was of benefit if you liked this video please give it a thumbs up and make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out on any of our awesome content. If you do want to connect with all of our social media platforms are linked and listed in the description box below. As always if you have any questions meet us in the comments. We always love to hear from you. Have a great week guys. All the best. Take care.

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