How To Read A Scientific Research Paper Correctly: Effective Hints

Reading a scientific paper involves you understanding what is in front of you, and sometimes that can be easier said than done. Scientific papers are one of the more difficult pieces of work to interpret out there, but they can have a goldmine of information. Have you no understanding of how to read a scientific research paper to extract the information you need? Then read on for some common tips on how to read such a project so that you understand what you are doing:

The Introduction

When reading the introduction look out for the thesis statement. This should clearly communicate with you what problem the project is trying to solve. You’ll also find a hint of what is to come in the body of the paper itself. It will highlight the methodologies that were used, and what type of studies were carried out.

In the introduction you might find some basic statistics, but not much more than that. The bulk of the information will be in the body of the content.

Materials And Methods

This section will typically contain the methodologies used in order to get the results. By understanding the conditions under which the data gathering was done you can begin to assess how accurate the information is actually going to be. You’ll find that this section can be quite technical at times.


In this section you will find all of the raw data that was gained from the project. You’ll find that there will be a minimal amount of explanation regarding what the data means. The explanation of the data will be reserved for a later section.

Like the last section this one can be quite technical – expect lots of graphs, tables and other visual data representation tools.


In this section look for an explanation of what story the data has told to the people carrying out the research. The data will either support the hypotheses that you read in the introduction, or it will reject it – comments on that will be made in the conclusion. In a lot of cases if you want to get right to the bottom of what the research paper has discovered then it is acceptable to skip to the conclusion section of the project.