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MAT 111: Introduction to Applied Calculus

Scientist working in the lab under the title "primary research" and scientist speaking under the title "reviews"

The authors of the article conducted their own original research. The authors synthesize and analyze known research on a particular topic to discover trends.
Has a specific structure: introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, references Its structure can be changed depending on the topic studied.

Uses first and second person like "We discovered" or "I found"

Refers primarily to "this study" (singular)

Uses third person like "they discovered" or "Choi and Wilson concluded"

Refers to multiple studies

Its goal is to add a new contribution to scientific research. Its goal is to summarize current research, draw connections, and show gaps needing further research.

How to Read a Scholarly Article (Accessible View)

1. Read the abstract
An abstract is a summary of the article, and will give you an idea of what the article is about and how it will be written. If there are lots of complicated subject-specific words in the abstract, the article will be just as hard to read.

2. Read the conclusion
This is where the author will repeat all of their ideas and their findings. Some authors even use this section to compare their study to others. By reading this, you will notice a few things you missed, and will get another overview of the content.

3. Read the first paragraph or the introduction
This is usually where the author will lay out their plan for the article and describe the steps they will take to talk about their topic. By reading this, you will know what parts of the article will be most relevant to your topic!

4. Read the first sentence of every paragraph
These are called topic sentences, and will usually introduce the idea for the paragraph that follows. By reading this, you can make sure that the paragraph has information relevant to your topic before you read the entire thing. 

5. The rest of the article
Now that you have gathered the idea of the article through the abstract, conclusion, introduction, and topic sentences, you can read the rest of the article!

To review: Abstract → Conclusion → Introduction → Topic Sentences → Entire Article

Used with permission from the Undergraduate Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for use or adaptation of materials.