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How to Read and Write Research Paper Efficiently?

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

What are the good ways we can follow to read and write research papers efficiently?

📚 Here are some useful tips and tools in reading & writing research papers! 📚


As a Graduate/PhD student, you are likely to be required to read hundreds of research articles and papers as part of your studies. Reviewing this literature can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but there are ways to make it more manageable.


And here are some useful tips and tools you may need in the process of writing research papers.


Focus on your purpose

Always keep in mind the objectives or purpose of the reading: Why are you reading? What questions or information you are looking for? Is it to understand the background knowledge of a certain field, to deepen your study on a specific problem, or to find a solution to the problem?


Selecting papers carefully is also important before doing any reading. Make sure the paper you choose to read are related to your study, in one way or another, and also have highest citations. In other words, instead of trying to read many papers, you need to try to read the most important and relevant papers, not to waste time reading irrelevant papers.


Clarifying the purpose of reading can help you select literature, extract key information and improve reading efficiency. For example, I want an answer to a particular question or an explanation of a certain phenomenon. That helps to focus only on things that matter.


Here are some useful websites you may need to do the finding and selecting part:

1. Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com

2. PubMed: PubMed

3. IEEE Xplore: IEEE Xplore

5. JSTOR: JSTOR Home

9. SSRN: Home :: SSRN


Develop a Strategic Reading Approach

Reading research papers can be overwhelming, especially when faced with dense scientific jargon and complex concepts. To make the process more manageable, develop a strategic reading approach.

Step 1. Begin with the abstract

The abstract serves as a succinct overview of the key points discussed in the paper. It aids in swiftly assessing the paper's pertinence to your research.


Step 2. Skim through the introduction and conclusion

These sections typically provide a clear overview of the paper's objectives and findings. They can help you determine if the paper is worth investing your time in.


Step 3. Pay attention to headings and subheadings

They serve as a guide for the structure of the paper. Reviewing them will provide you with an overview of the primary concepts and their organization.


Step 4. Summarize key information of the useful papers

Summarize the useful research paper you read, preferably using a paper management system. A pretty standard format for summaries are: A) a 2-3 paragraph description of the paper, B) a list of strengths and weaknesses of the paper. C) re-summarizing them. Your perspective and comprehension of these papers are likely to develop and change over time as you gain more experience.


Use tools:

1. Chatpilot : http://chatpilot.ltd

Chatpilot is an efficient tool that simplifies complex topics, provides instant answers, and is compatible with a wide range of document formats, including PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. Its extensive capabilities streamline the research process, empowering students to read, write, and learn efficiently due to its comprehensive features. The most important thing about it is that it is completely FREE to use!

tools of writing research papers

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tools of writing research papers

2. Chatpdf: http://chatpdf.com

ChatPDF is an innovative app powered by AI that efficiently extracts various types of information from extensive PDF files. With its advanced capabilities, you can effortlessly retrieve chapters, headings, tables, and charts, enabling you to easily navigate and comprehend the organization of PDF files.


3. SciSpace: http://typeset.io

Scispace is an AI research assistant jointly developed by Google AI and Scispace AI. Scispace can assist researchers in efficiently and precisely locating the literature they require. It can search literature in various ways, including keyword search, topic search, and author search. Creating a document library, marking documents, adding document notes, and establishing relationships for documents.


Take effective notes as you read

Write down key points, unfamiliar terms, and any questions that come up. This will help you stay engaged and retain important information. While reading research papers, it's crucial to take effective notes that capture the key points and ideas. Use a note-taking method that works for you, whether it's highlighting important passages, summarizing each section, or creating mind maps. These notes will serve as valuable references when writing your own papers or discussing research with crew member.


Note-taking tools:

1. Evernote: http://evernote.com

Evernote provides a comprehensive set of tools to help you stay organized in all aspects of life. With its great note-taking feature, efficient project planning capabilities, and user-friendly search function, you can easily find what you need, when you need it. Capture your ideas quickly and enhance them by adding images, sketches, documents, and audio recordings. Transform fleeting thoughts into actionable plans with ease.


GoodNotes is a very practical digital note-taking application that can help users easily create, edit, and manage various types of notes. Whether for studying, working, or daily life, GoodNotes can provide us with a convenient note-taking solution.


Google Keep is a cloud note-taking application officially released by Google. It allows you to easily create text, image, and voice notes, and upload them to the cloud for storage. You can access your notes anytime, anywhere by logging into your Google account. It also allows users to save online notes or synchronize them with Google Drive.


Use Reference Management Software

Managing references is an essential part of academic writing. Reference management software like EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero can save you time and effort by helping you organize your sources, generate citations, and create bibliographies. Explore different options to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.


Tips and strategies in academic writing

1. Structure

tools of writing research papers
  • Introduction: Paint a comprehensive picture of the positive developments in the field, while also acknowledging a significant challenge that remains unresolved. Provide a brief overview of how the paper addresses this challenge and highlight its contributions.

  • Literature Review: includes a summary of the publication’s main points; a discussion of gaps in research; a description of the publication; an evaluation of the publication’s contribution to the topic.

  • Conclude: summarize very briefly and then highlight the implications and significance of the work.

You may like to read:


2. Useful Tools

Grammarly is a comprehensive online writing assistant that can help you enhance your writing by detecting grammar and spelling errors, suggesting vocabulary enhancements, and providing style and clarity improvements. It is available as a browser extension, desktop app, and mobile keyboard.


ProWritingAid: http://ProWritingAid.com

ProWritingAid is an all-in-one writing tool that offers grammar and spelling checks, style and readability suggestions, and detailed reports on various aspects of your writing. It helps improve sentence structure, eliminate redundancies, and enhance overall readability.


ChatPilot supports the rapid extraction of key Q&A from your documents, allowing you to quickly access the most important ideas and gain inspiration. You can quickly gain insightful and smart Q&A, which will give you a holistic comprehension of documents, through question formulation. Its intelligent and recommended guidance helps you fully grasp the information and inspires your insights.

tools of writing research papers

Engage in discussions with peers or professors

Talking about the paper with others can provide different perspectives and deepen your understanding.


Engaging with research communities and discussion forums can greatly benefit graduate students. Platforms such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu offer valuable opportunities to connect with researchers in your field, share your work, and receive constructive feedback. Actively participating in these communities can expand your knowledge, foster collaborations, and improve your research skills.


Do not hesitate to seek guidance from your mentors and professors when it comes to reading and writing research papers. They possess extensive experience in academia and can offer valuable advice on effective reading strategies, paper organization, writing style, and more. Regularly engaging in discussions with them about your progress and challenges can greatly enhance your research skills.

 

Remember, reading research papers may pose challenges, but by following these tips, you'll be better equipped to navigate through them and extract valuable knowledge. Best Luck of Your Research! 📖✨


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