How to read a research paper?

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๐Ÿ. ๐‚๐ก๐ž๐œ๐ค ๐ซ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐ฏ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž: Before diving deep into an article, skim through the abstract, introduction, and conclusion to ensure the paper is relevant. You donโ€™t want to spend 2โ€“3 hours ending up with nothing.

๐Ÿ. ๐–๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฒ๐ง๐จ๐ฉ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ: If you found the paper to be relevant, write the synopsis of the paper within concrete three bullet points โ€” (i) what the authors did (ii) How they did it (iii) What they found. It will establish the broader picture of the paper within your mind. Once you know what it is about, you can easily navigate through the paper.

๐Ÿ‘. ๐ˆ๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž: Why do you want to read this paper? Do you want to understand the research methodology? Are you looking for a new research idea to take from this paper? Be clear about the purpose. It will save time and help you focus on the specific part.

๐Ÿ’. ๐‘๐ž๐š๐ ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ: Read the paper critically. This means that once you have read the paper, you should be able to answer โ€” what are the strengths and weaknesses of this paper. This is important to assess the quality of a research piece.

๐Ÿ“. ๐–๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ค๐ž๐ฒ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ: As you go through the paper or after finishing reading, write about points like (i) what are the key takeaways for me from this paper (ii) where I can use these takeaways (iii) what can be done on the top of the existing work (iv) Can something be improved. You donโ€™t need to write long stories. For all of this, you can register within 5โ€“10 min. After that, knowledge not put in writing evaporates.

๐Ÿ”. ๐’๐ค๐ข๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ: After finishing the main body, check the references. You may find some very relevant works there too. If such is the case, you can snowball depending upon the time you have for reading.

๐Ÿ•. ๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ: Look at the diagrams, tables, graphs, and writing style of the paper. Ask yourself whether the type of diagrams or graphs, etc., would be suitable for my article. If the answer is yes, note it down in your takeaways.

๐Ÿ–. ๐๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐ฉ๐š๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ: Some papers you read might be relevant to your following paper. Note 2โ€“3 such papers and put them before yourself while writing your next paper. It will serve as a reference guide for your paper writing.

๐Ÿ—. ๐‘๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ฒ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž: As a researcher, the more you read, the better for you. A paper is not to be read only in the lab or office. Sometimes, you get more out of a paper โ€” reading it while sitting in a park or traveling on a train or bus. Try reading in different places and see what works the best for you.

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