Reading a journal article

Reading for university courses is often challenging and time-consuming. Many students find that the skills they previously needed and used at school or work are not as effective for university study. Understanding and using effective active reading strategies can make your reading more meaningful, purposeful, and successful.

As a starting point, it is important to understand the unique features of journal articles so that you can better understand the content.

This short video from the University of British Colombia iSchool contains tips to help you read journal articles efficiently and effectively. The video is available here.

For further information and very useful tips, work through this Reading and note takingĀ module from Monash University.

Using news articles to improve reading

University study requires a lot of reading and, like most things, good reading comes with practice. Improving comprehension skills involves reading a wide range of texts and news articles can be an excellence source of material.

An excellent site for current news stories from Australia and around the world is the ABC. For students who use English as an Additional Language Breaking News English has a large range (and back catalogue) of news items with comprehension questions. Articles are available for differing levels of reading ability and there are many different activities provided. There are also lots of discussion and writing tasks to take the activities further.

Different types of journal articles

An awareness of different types of journal articles and their purposes can help you identify and locate articles that are relevant to a particular purpose (e.g. research for an assignment). It may also be useful when you need to explain the purpose or rationale of an article that you have read (e.g. when writing an annotated bibliography or literature review).

Here is a useful summary of the different types of articles that may be published in academic peer-reviewed journals.