Journal articles are a standard tool for research in the college classroom. Many students, however, arrive at their university with no previous experience in the area. It can be daunting to enter the library with no clue on how to find or use proper research materials. Scientific journals offer the most recent and accurate information for use in quality papers. Review these tips for accurate use of journal articles.
Modern computer use has made research much easier than in the past. A visit may be required to retrieve hard copies of some articles, but many can be found online. Most journal articles are not available without some kind of membership or payment. Make sure you know your university sign-in information. These services are free to students on the library site. Open up the library database and find the search options. Be sure to specify articles in your search to avoid the inclusion of books and other formats. This can be done from your personal computer, or those stationed in the library.
Online library searches require that you enter words relevant to the subject you are seeking. Several words bring up less and more specific articles. One word gives a more broad response. These key words need to represent the focus of your research topic. Accuracy tends to increase as students practice this tactic over time. Pay attention to the changes in search results with each word addition.
Once an article has been decided on for use, it is important to determine its necessity for your project. A section called the abstract is located near the beginning of the first page. This is a short summary of the research contents. Read through this before committing to printing or usage. These can also be helpful when compiling information for literature reviews. This efficient overview can help you to avoid reading many pages of unnecessary information.
There will be times when search results offer little to work with. Pay attention to the citations on each article. Scientific articles rely heavily on previous research to gather information. The references placed at the end of an article can be valuable for reaching your research goals. Similar articles can be used to elaborate on pertinent information, as well as offer new perspectives.
Students are notorious for housing piles of books and papers in bulk. It can be a terrible feeling to be unable to find a specific article in the middle of writing a paper. Extensive research methods demand organization. The basics include a good hole-punch, a thick binder, and dividers. Arrange articles by subject and importance. Highlight as you read to make it easier to find useful information at a later date. Various colors can be delegated to different types of data.
College research exists on an entirely different level than previous schooling. It is pertinent that you learn early on how to read proper scientific journals for successful writing. Visit your library in person and learn how to navigate the data base prior to the first assignment. Practice searching with various key words and review a sample article to see the layout. Get organized and ready for a great semester. Do you have any other tips for people using academic journals? Share your insight, below.