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A brief overview of the basic anatomy of a research paper


  • 1.1. What do I need? Old School Printed copy of paper Pencil, pen Highlighter New Kid Tablet device/computer with PDF software capable of allowing annotations PDF copy of paper

2. What do I need? Patience Healthy dose of skepticism 3. 2. Read the paper Critical thinking process Dont assume the authors are always correct. Be skeptical apply the rigours of the scientific model to all research 4. Some questions to ask If the authors attempt to solve a problem, are they solving the right problem? What are the limitations of the solution (including limitations the authors might not have noticed or admitted)? Are there other solutions the authors do not seem to have considered? What are the good ideas in this paper? 5. Some more questions Are the assumptions the authors make reasonable? Is the logic of the paper clear and justiable, given the assumptions, or is there a aw in the reasoning? If the authors present data, did they gather the right data to substantiate their argument? Did they gather and interpret the data in the correct manner? 6. Even more questions Would other data or other means of collection of data be more compelling? Can the results or ideas be generalised to wider populations? Are there improvements that might make important differences? If you were going to start doing research from this paper, what would be the next thing you would do? 7. While reading Make notes Go through the references in the paper Highlight the key points Highlight key data Highlight anything questionable 8. Some papers may require a number of readings 9. 3. The Anatomy of a Paper 10. Authors & Affiliations 11. Abstract 12. Introduction 13. Introduction Authors put their research into context Make a case for what theyre doing, why theyre doing it and why its important A brief overview of prior related research Identify gaps in knowledge that they hope to fill 14. Methods 15. Methods Explain exactly how they carried out their research Detailed, step-by-step explanation of all of the methods Theoretically replicate the research and achieve the same results 16. Results 17. Results Summarises the main findings of the study Present the results, not discuss them Graphs, tables, etc. are often used to present and summarise data 18. Discussion 19. Discussion Implications of results Do the results support the authors original hypotheses? Different ways to interpret the results? Future research? Limitations! 20. References 21. References Sometimes the most useful part of a paper! Almost always something listed in the references that you didnt find yourself (or didnt even think to look for) 22. 4. Compare Compare it to similar papers 23. 5. Archive File/folder Endnote Mendeley Papers Zotero Read by QxMD