<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

As they plan their papers, tell them to

  • Organize the paper to show the answers to their own questions
  • Explain whether the key terms in the article seemed to be defined in the way they heard them in class (they should be applying knowledge as they write)
  • Have fun while they write—enjoy being part of the community that evaluates scientific or engineering issues

When you consult, develop students' reading skills as follows:

  • Start by discussing low-level information vs. high-level hierarchies and subordination of ideas. What's the main point of the article? How is it organized? What questions must be answered to accomplish the authors' purposes? What questions are answered first, second, and so on?
  • Ask students whether the article has the qualities they want in their own papers:An excellent article will :
  • Set up a context that shows why the issue to be studied matters in the field
  • State its focus clearly early on
  • Explain the work of previous investigators
  • Describe its methods and theoretical assumptions clearly
  • Present results convincingly, discussing their relevance and linking them to the theories and assumptions presented earlier
  • Draw reasonable, sometimes limited conclusions
  • Look forward to the next steps and future research remaining

Strategies to help students reading scientific articles

Reading a scientific article is a complex task. The worst way to approach this task is to treat it like the reading of a textbook—reading from title to literature cited, digesting every word along the way without any gross assessment of the document, without reflection, without a critical eye. Rather, the reader should begin by skimming the article to identify its structure and features. Advise students to look for the author’s main points as they read. They should generate questions before, during, and after reading, and draw inferences from the article based on their own experiences and knowledge. And to really improve understanding and recall, readers should take notes as they read. These strategies, discussed in more detail below, will help students read, comprehend, and summarize their chosen articles.

Strategy 1: skim the article and identify its structure

Most journals use a conventional structure: an Abstract followed by Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each of these sections normally contains easily recognized conventional features, and if you read with an anticipation of these features, you will read an article more quickly and comprehend more.

Features of Abstracts

Abstracts usually contain at least four kinds of information:

  • purpose or rationale of study (why they did it)
  • methodology (how they did it)
  • results (what they found)
  • conclusion (what it means)

Most scientists read the abstract first. Others—especially experts in the field—skip right from the title to the visuals (figures and tables) because the visuals, in many cases, tell the reader what kinds of experiments were done and what results were obtained. Students should probably begin reading a paper by reading the abstract carefully and noting the four kinds of information outlined above. They should next preview the visuals and then move to the rest of the paper.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Becoming a professional scholar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10871/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Becoming a professional scholar' conversation and receive update notifications?