How to Start Reading Research Papers

Reading research papers is an inescapable activity for a research scholar that has to be started sooner or later. There is a huge gap between planning to read and actually reading a research paper as the same appears quite monotonous and tiring. With a little effort, you can get into the habit of reading research papers.

  1. Begin with literature review papers: The best way to start reading research papers is to begin with some good paper that are based on literature review. This would be a simpler way to gain an insight into the topics that have been already covered in your subject areas. Moreover, starting with empirical papers can make you go crazy and can even demotivate you.
  2. Look for maximum cited research papers: Always try and look for research papers that are cited much. For a beginner, this is a great way to gain important and reliable knowledge about the topic.
  3. Pen down important points: You can never remember all important points from different research papers. It is advisable to pen down important observations so that it becomes easier to refer them again as and when needed. Moreover, writing down make things clearer in human memory.
  4. Make a literature review table: Another fantastic tip to effectively begin with literature review is to rely on a self-created literature review table. Organizing the main findings from different papers in a tabular form makes your learning highly sustainable.
  5. Get a hard copy: Reading through a hard copy is a way better than the soft copy. While reading through the hard copy, you can mark important points and also it is less tiring for the eyes. As a beginner, you should try and read research papers in printed version.


  • Begin with review papers.
  • Move to conceptual papers.
  • Read slowly and mark important points.
  • Make it a regular activity.

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