I was happy to see the speed reading exercise we did in class yesterday was quite helpful to a lot of students.
I’d like to summarize the point of the exercise here, so you can repeat it on your own. The worksheet we used is at the bottom of this post, and also on Bb, in Readings > Literature Review.
The point of the exercise is to teach you:
- what information to hunt for first in an article
- where to look for it
What information to hunt for first
The key items are listed on the worksheet. The reasons you want to look for that info first is because it helps you:
- decide if the article is relevant to your interests and if you need to read it in the first place
- make a quick assessment about the quality/credibility of the article, based on: year of publication, publication outlet, sample type & size
- get a big-picture understanding of the article, so that when you read it carefully, you will be able to read much faster, because the information will fit into this structure you have already created.
Where to look for information
If you are reading an empirical research article, the formula is more or less the same. People may use different words for the headings and sub-headings, but overall, this is where you will find each piece of information:
Keep this in mind as you are writing, and try to include all this information where people expect to find it. We will try to repeat this exercise in class, but I hope you will also practice on your own, so you can learn what to look for and where to find it.
Here is the worksheet:
Comments, questions, tips? Please let me know, or at least rate this post so I know if it was useful or not.