For your Lab Assignments here are a few tips that will help you get started.
Reading scientific articles can seem like a complex task, but when we learn how to read an article, it becomes more understandable. Instead of approaching an article like a text book, reading from the beginning to end, instead scientific articles should be read strategically and with a critical mindset. Below are some strategies to employ to help you be successful.
Skim the Article and Identify its Structure
Most journals use the IMRD format: an abstract followed by the Introduction, Methods, Results & Discussion.
Discussion: places the work in context of the broader field, provides a clear answer to the question posed in the Introduction, and explains how the results support the conclusion
Best Order to Read Scientific Articles:
Distinguish the Main Points
Articles contain a lot of information. Here are some ways to distinguish the main points from the subordinate points in the articles.
Generate questions and be aware of your understanding
It's important to ask yourself questions as you read. Before and during your reading of the article you should ask yourself the following questions:
After reading through the article you can ask some the following questions:
Not everything you learn in an article is stated explicitly. You will need to rely on your knowledge and previous experiences to draw inferences from the material.
Take notes as you read
Taking notes will help you retain the information that you read and learn. You can create or follow a template (see article below for example) that will allow easier retrieval if you need to refer back to your notes.
Reference: Mary Purugganan, PhD, and Jan Hewitt, PhD. “How to Read a Scientific Article,” Cain Project in Engineering andProfessional Communication, Rice University