Skip to Main Content


For students taking Dr. Hagey's BSB 485 Special Topics in Biomechanics class

Online Chat

Schedule an Online Appointment

Use the button below to schedule an online, one-on-one appointment with a librarian. We will send you an online meeting link to talk about sources, search strategies, and more!

Tips for Reading Scientific Articles

Parts of a Scientific Article

Scientific articles don't need to be read beginning to end like a novel. Skip around to the parts that tell you the most about the article first, then go back and read if it's really an article you want to invest time in.

1. Abstract

  • Just a summary of the article
  • Use the Abstract to quickly get an idea of what will be covered in the article

2. Discussion

  • author compares findings to previous research, talks about any limitations, and suggests related areas to be studied
  • This section will interpret the results, suggest what comes next, and any reason the author feels the methods did not yield expected results.

3. Introduction

  • Describes the problem the author is trying to solve
  • The thesis statement (or exact question being answered) will be in the Introduction
  • The Introduction will give a brief break down of the question, and what the author hopes to find.

4. Methods

  • Explanation of how the study was conducted and what was involved
  • Methods section will answer "what did the author do?"  & "who/what was it done to?"

5. Results

  • explains the outcome of the study
  • this section will answer "what happened?" or "what did the author find?"

6. Literature Review

  • Provides a scholarly foundation for the study
  • Cites similar studies

7. References

  • contains all the articles, other works, the author cited in their article
  • Reference sections are a GREAT place to look for additional articles for your own papers!