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NUR 1050

Introduction to Professional Nursing

How to Read a Scholarly Article (INFOGRAPHIC)

See below for accessible text.

How to Read a Scholarly Article


An abstract is a summary of the article. In addition to introducing the topic, abstracts often include information about research methods and results.

Introduction and Conclusion

The introduction outlines the author’s plans for the article and can help you determine which parts of the article will be most useful to you. The conclusion section reviews all of the ideas and findings from the rest of the paper.

Topic Sentences

Topic sentences can help you determine whether that paragraph will include anything relevant to your research, or if you can skim (or skip) it.

Entire Article

Read the rest of the article, skimming through sections that are not relevant to your research.


Need more sources for your assignment?

Citations listed at the end of a scholarly article can be a great place to find additional relevant sources. Use the library’s databases or E-Journal Portal to search for the article or journal titles.

How to Read a (Text)Book

Step 1: Set Up

Flip through the textbook to get a general feel for how the book is set up. Here are a few ideas of things you may look for:

  • Are chapters organized into broader sections?
  • How long are most chapters?
  • In your average chapter, consider how much of the chapter is text versus images, diagrams, charts, or other supplementary material.

This step can be helpful in figuring out how much time it might take to do your assigned reading.

Step 2: Preface and About the Authors

The "Preface" is an introduction to the book by its author(s). It often includes information about why the book was written, who helped create the book, and what readers can expect to learn.

"About the Authors" offers short biographies about each author, usually outlining their credentials (what qualifies them to write the book on this topic) and other books they have published.

Step 3: Sections

Flip through the textbook and keep an eye out for these sections:

  • Table of Contents
  • Glossary
  • Appendices
  • Index
  • References or Bibliography (Citations)

Step 4: Sample Chapter

Flip through one chapter to see how they are generally set up. Read or make note of these sections or types of content:

  • Chapter Overview - this is a brief summary of what the chapter will include
  • Learning Objectives - these may be concrete statements about what you should expect to understand by the end of the chapter
  • Glossary (if it is included in each chapter) or any lists of key terms
  • Bold headings and subheadings
  • Visual aids such as diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, and images
  • First two sentences in the first paragraph for each new heading or subheading
  • End of chapter summary

Step 5: Reading Chapters

You're ready to start reading! As you read your chapter, don't forget to make annotations in the margins or take notes on separate paper.

How to Read a (Text)Book [INFOGRAPHIC]