Projects - outline an academic article

Malc Prentice

Step 1: Find a list of possible sources

Option 1: Find them in your reading

While reading, take a note of the sources you might want to read.

After you have finished, find them in the reference list of the article

Option 2: Use a search engine

(link) (has most but not all articles)

(link) university "Kiyo", variable quality)


(link) (British Dissertations)

(link) dissertations)

(link) articles, for background)

(link) reports about nuclear weapons)

(link) reports about ????.)

Search properly, or you will get thousands of useless articles

"" (EXACT) "English test" - (NOT) "English test" -toeic

Option 3: Work backwards

Option 4: Find a reading list on the topic prepared by a teacher

List here: (link)

Option 5: Browse the top journals in your topic

List Here: (link)

Step 2: Access the sources

Accessing article PDFs

Accessing Books

Step 3: Narrow down your list

Step 5: Download it as a PDF or print it on paper

Step 6: Before you read, think!

Step 7: Skim it

Step 8: Read it once carefully with a highlighter (pen or electronic).

Step 9: Choose a way to keep notes.

You can write (a notebook or index cards), type into text files or Word files or use software that helps manage references (try Mendeley - (link) or Zotero (link) Each has advantages - writing is eaier, but if you type you can a) search, b) copy-paste references and notes, c) backup everything (e.g. using Dropbox) d) read them on your phone and e) use automatic outlines to help you keep organised. We will practice several types using "Practice Reports"

Step 10: Read the article again, and take notes.

Step 11: THINK as you read, and write any ideas before you forget

Step 12: Write a one-sentence summary

"According to CITE, in a METHOD study of SUBJECTS, RESULT"

e.g. "According to Smith (1999) in a questionnaire study of 440 Norwegian English majors in the 2nd year of a compulsory English program, 49% of students did not believe in Santa."

Do this well enough, and you can just copy it into your essay later.

Step 13: Carefully write the APA reference for this source

See use APA format in reference lists

See Step 1

Step 15: Take notes on the English

Take a note of useful English words/phrases you can use

Step 16: Share with others

(in class, next week)

Step 17: Occasionally, review your notes.

If you can't remember and understand, read it again. Maybe try SQ3R or "Cornell".

Step 18: Take notes on gaps in research and methods

If you are reading for your dissertation, you also are reading to find out what the author DOES NOT know (this might be a good topic for your dissertation), and to find out METHODS for doing your own research.