Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CPSY 220: Research Methods (Astin): Reading Research Articles

Quick Links

Reading Research Articles

There are two principle ways to read a Psychology research article. Psychology articles generally follow this outline:

  • Introduction
  • Statement of the problem
  • Literature review
  • Study methodology
  • Findings
  • Discussion of findings
  • Conclusions and suggestions for further research

1. Read the article from beginning to end. If you are familiar with the topic and the study methodology, this will probably work fine.

2. Generally, the better option is to read the introduction and statement of the problem followed by reading the discussion and/or conclusions of the study. This helps to create a road map, so that the middle sections of the article are more easily grasped. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with the topic or methodology employed. The middle sections of a research article can be quite technical and difficult to understand if you don't where the author(s) is going with the research.

Social Sciences and Government Information Librarian