Session 4. Read Academic Articles

2 hours

Students learn effective ways to read and analyse journal articles. They learn to synthesise scientific evidence for their literature reviews not only for this particular activity but also for their doctoral research and future careers as researchers.


By the end of the session, students can:

  • describe how a journal article is organised
  • explain the key steps in reviewing a journal article
  • identify the challenges of reading journal articles and explain how to mitigate them
  • analyse a journal article relevant to their research
  • decide which articles to read and which to ignore
20 minutes1. Watch a video introductionStudents
40 minutes2.Present: How to read a journal articleFacilitator
30 minutes3. Analyse a journal articleStudents in pairs
30 minutes4. Present and discuss analysesFull group
  • Step 1. Watch a video introduction
    20 minutes
    Encourage students to pay attention to key points in the video: How to read a journal article. Project it onto a screen or share the YouTube link for students to watch on their own laptops. Invite questions and discussion afterwards.
  • Step 2. Present: How to read a journal article
    40 minutes
    Use or adapt the PowerPoint presentation: How to read a scientific paper. If relevant to your field, explain the IMRaD format for the structure of scientific papers: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Invite questions and discussion.
  • Step 3. Analyse a journal article
    30 minutes
    Students pair up to do a critical analysis of the journal article you have chosen.
  • Step 4. Present and discuss analyses
    30 minutes
    In the full group, pairs take turns to present their analysis of the paper. Allocate time for discussion after each short presentation.

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