How To Read Academic Papers
(Adapted from Nina Bascia's "How to Read" exercise used in TPS
3045 at the University of Toronto.)
In this course we will be reading a couple dozen academic papers.
Learning to read academic papers takes practice and feedback; this
exercise is designed to help you learn how to read these papers. For
each academic paper, provide:
- Orienting yourself:
- Why am I reading this paper? If the paper is assigned for a
course or reading group, why do you think the
instructor/facilitator chose this paper?
- What should I try to get out of reading this paper?
- How can I most efficiently get what I need out of this
- What is this paper about?
- Main point of article or reading (1 sentence)
- The "Conversation" (intellectual/political context)
article/chapter is entering or responding to
- Intended audience
- Critical assessment of the paper
- Evidence (if any) the author bases argument(s) on; adequacy
of evidence for claims
- Credibility of article. What makes it credible and/or
incredible? (can be both)
- What point(s) of view is/are represented? Which/whose are
- Your use and reaction to the paper
- As reader, what experiences, information, or exposure
influence your assessment of this article? (It’s your
responsibility to be honest about where your reactions are
- Practical and/or intellectual implications – for whom? For
- Did this paper provide what you wanted out of it? If not,
did you have reasonable expectations for it?