Reading scientific articles can be tricky, especially for those who are not science majors or have never read much academic material before. There is a lot of jargon that goes along with reading scientific research, making it difficult to know what things mean.
Furthermore, most studies conducted in laboratories use sophisticated equipment and resources that only the few rich people own. These tools cost large amounts of money to purchase and run, which makes conducting experiments even more complicated.
It is very important to understand how to read and analyze an article that contains information about these advanced topics because you will probably need to one day! Luckily, there are some basic steps that can help you figure out what parts of an article apply to you and your health.
Reading scientific articles involves using context to determine the meaning of terms such as “hormone”, “cycling”, and “menstruation”. When researchers use these terms, they may or may not include them within a wider definition of the term. This changes depending on whether the word has multiple definitions or if one definition is more popular than others.
Regularly checking the thesaurus box under each term will make sure you do not mix up its definitions. Using the appropriate terminology at the right time is extremely important when interpreting results from experimental studies.
Read the beginning of the article
Starting off with the topic and bullet point is an easy way to help you read more quickly. By being familiar with the basics, you can move onto reading harder articles!
The easiest way to do this is to understand what things like titles and headers mean. A title is a paragraph that sets up the article, while a header is something that gives additional context or information about the article.
For example, if the article was titled “How to Make Sure Your House Stays Warm in Winter”, then its header would be “Winterizing your home”.
This does not fit our initial bullet point very well so we will edit the order to make it work better.
Read the middle of the article
Even if you are very familiar with this topic, reading the middle of an article can still be difficult because it may not make sense at first. This is where the body of the article comes in.
The body of the article is actually two paragraphs that summarize the main points of the article. You should read these two paragraphs before moving onto the conclusion.
Reading the middle and body of an article helps you understand the context of the article more clearly. It also gives you some information beyond just a simple summary.
There may be additional ideas in the article or examples related to the main point. These additions help connect the article to other things that are close by in knowledge, making your understanding stronger.
Read the conclusion of the article
The main message of this article is that although it may seem like there are no clear answers for health benefits of supplements, you can always read the conclusion of an article to determine if they work or not.
If you find the conclusions interesting or even though they imply that supplements might help your health, then try them out!
Just make sure to do your research first and be aware of any potential side effects before taking anything new.
This article has discussed some strategies to evaluate the credibility of a scientific study, so you know what to look for when trying to understand the findings.
Reading the conclusion of an article will usually tell you whether the supplement helped the symptoms or disease involved in the study, but it will also often suggest other possible reasons why the experiment did not prove successful.
These other reasons could include poor quality of the placebo (standard treatment) used in the trial, flaws in the design of the experiment, or lack of statistical significance of the results.
It is important to remember that just because an article’s conclusion says something about effectiveness does not mean that the article is necessarily written well or gives accurate information.
Look at the methodology used
A key part of reading scientific articles is being aware of how the authors conducted their studies. You should be careful about assuming that just because an article seems authoritative, credible, and well-referenced then it must be correct!
Just like with any other type of writing, there are some basic rules for reading scientific articles. For example, you should make sure that the author included enough references, and these references should all agree with each other.
Furthermore, you should never assume that just because someone is famous or has published many papers in this field that they have mastered the material. In fact, quite the opposite is often true — making their paper less reliable than others.
So what makes for a strong methodological explanation?
First, make sure to look at the abstract. This short summary contains important information such as who conducted the study, what materials were used, and what the results were.
Next, check out the introduction, which usually gives more context to the research and explains why the researchers decided to conduct their investigation in the first place.
Lastly, read the methods section, where the scientists describe exactly how they analyzed their data. Here, you will find things such as what variables they looked at, whether they did statistical tests, and anything else they may have done to conclude their findings.
Look at the results
A lot of times, readers will try to interpret a study according to what they want the result to be. If their attitude is positive about an item, then they may read into the article more information about how great that product is.
If someone has research whether or not chocolate tastes good, they might conclude that it does taste good because the author of the article mentions how much some people like chocolate.
The reader must remember that both before and after the experiment was done, there were still things happening in the experimenter’s body. All those other hormones and chemicals influenced the results.
There are many ways to use experimental design to control for all these external factors. By reading the articles as yourself instead of for your own purposes, you can get better understanding of studies and how to apply the findings from them.
Interpret the results
The article you read did not tell you how many people needed or wanted what it reported. It may even be an argument for or against the product, so make sure to interpret its findings correctly!
The author of the scientific article you just read probably made assumptions about you that may influence the interpretation of his or her conclusions. For example, he or she likely assumed you are familiar with the term “carbohydrate” and know which types contain glucose (the most common source of fuel for your body).
So, when they use the word “carbs,” some of the readers might assume they mean pure carbs such as sugar. Or maybe they used the term in reference to either carbohydrate sources or diets — perhaps a low-carb diet?
If you’re reading this before the end of the year, I would recommend limiting added sugars in our diets.
Look at the scientific background
In addition to using formal grammar, reading a paper or article effectively requires you to look beyond the abstract of the work and assess how well the authors linked their findings with previous research.
In science, studies that have been done before often influence what other researchers study and test. For this reason, it is important to understand the context of a study so that you can determine whether its conclusions are valid.
By looking outside of the abstract for references and reviews of the theory or experiment being described in the article, you can make sure that your assessment is informed.
Make sure your understand all of the concepts
Although not every article in scientific fields is an in-depth study, you do need to be able to identify some key terms and ideas.
This will help you to make sense of what you read and also helps you to evaluate the accuracy of the information it contains!
Some common ones are understanding word equivalents, defining terms, establishing relationships, and highlighting conclusions.
Making these changes can enhance the way you read and comprehend articles.
There are many ways to learn how to read scientific articles so here we will go over several tips.