Skip to Main Content

Evaluate Information

How to evaluate the sources you find.

How to Read a Scholarly Article?

Reading a Scholarly Article

This guide will help you identify the different parts of a scholarly article. For a detailed explanation, please check the guide Anatomy of a scholarly article

Common Components of a Scholarly Article

Title Gives an idea of the entire project/paper
Author(s) Names of the people who made a significant contribution to the project/paper. Author(s) could be one person, a group, or an institution.
Abstract A brief overview of the article content including its objectives and findings.
Keywords The words or phrases that capture the essence of the paper.
Introduction Summarizes the main idea the of article including the research question and objectives. This section always provide a rationale for the research by answering "why it is important"
Literature Review Literature review connects the paper with past work in the same field and topic. Analyze and compare the contribution of previous research.
Methods/Methodology Explains how the research is conducted. This section provides an overview of how the data has been collected, how data are analyzed. The information provided in this section would help another researcher to replicate/repeat similar studies. This section often will be condensed and the author might provide additional information in the "Supplemental Data" section.
Results Explains the findings of the research. 
Discussion A detailed examination of the findings against existing literature. This section provides an understanding of the author's perspective and provides insight into future action or research opportunities.
Conclusion A summary of findings and their future implications.
References A list of previously published books, articles, or other works the paper has used.
Supplemental data Additional material or information, the author shared along with the paper. This may include datasets, survey question or details of data interpretation. 

Carey, M. A., Steiner, K. L., & Petri Jr, W. A. (2020). Ten simple rules for reading a scientific paper.