Skip to Main Content

JRP Skill Builder 2 (Theriault): Getting Started

Reading Complex Text

Essays and Literary Criticism

Reading scholarly or academic articles is NOT like reading a story. It's okay to peek at the end first! Here are some quick tips for reading an essay or literary criticism:

Research Articles

Before you begin to closely read a scholarly article, SCAN it first to prepare yourself for what's to come. Your article might be broken into sections like this:

  • Abstract – read this part first; the last sentence of the abstract is often a summary of the article.
  • Conclusion read this part next; the conclusion restates ideas found in the abstract.
  • Sections – examine the parts of the article; how is it organized?
    • ‚ÄčIntroduction
    • Methodology
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Etc.
  • Visuals graphs, maps, photos, etc.; what do they tell you?
  • References & Footnotes  would these articles help further your research?