February 15, 2012

Advice on Reading Academic Papers

estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

Graduate students must learn to read academic papers, but in virtually all cases, these same students are not formally taught how to best read academic papers. It is not the same process used to read a newspaper, magazine, or novel. The process of learning how to read academic papers properly can not only be painful, but also waste quite a bit of time. Here are my quick tips on reading papers of all stripes:

In addition to these tips, please consider consulting with the following resources:

Although these resources focus on scientific papers, I have found many of the same techniques to be useful when reading law review articles and policy statements, which are also highly structured. Each of these resources provides a list of additional resources and can serve as a great place to get started. In addition, Google can provide even more.

Update 23 October 2012

I just happened across a Quora question to follow about reading academic papers. If you stumbled on this, then you might like it.

This post was last updated on October 23, 2012