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Anxiety About Reading: I don't know what to read
Learn more about techniques and tools to help you if you feel anxious about reading scholarly texts
Consider the types of sources that you would be relevant to your topic. Do you need examples to support or refute arguments or evidence to analyze? Do you need to read studies that employ a particular research method? Are peer-reviewed journal articles required or are popular sources (e.g., newspapers, magazines) acceptable?
Think about your research question and find sources (e.g. articles, books) on your topic.
Abstracts give a brief description of the document that follows, so that you can decide if the reading is relevant to your topic or assignment and therefore if you should continue reading. when skimming the abstract, look for key terms and phrases that are relevant to your topic.
2. Read certain article sections first
First, read the abstract for a general summary
Next, read the discussion and/or conclusion section to see the article's main claims/takeaways
Then read the last few paragraphs of the introduction to get a better understanding of the author's main arguments/hypotheses
Finally, if the article seems useful, read the rest of it in order
How to read a scholarly article. (2018). Western University. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SmOq6gENPM
How to more effectively complete your textbook readings. (2016). USC-C SALT. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/AFA7g9NMH7k
3. Evaluate sources
If you skim the abstract and decide that it might be useful to your assignment, evaluate the source further for relevancy to your assignment and topic. Use the RADAR Framework (Relevancy, Authority, Date, Appearance, Reason) to help guide you evaluation of articles and other information.
Attribution: Reg Erhardt Library. (2018). Radar framework. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Note: It's okay to use information from sources that contain strong arguments or opinions, but it's always a good idea to acknowledge the author's view.
4. Takes notes as you read
Keep your research question and main arguments in mind so that you can address them using the information you read in the article. See the "Where can I learn more" section for resources on how to take notes.