Here is the way that used to read a paper effectively.
- A paper to read
- Three different color pens; I recommend highlighters
- An erasable pen like a pencil
Doing next actions by chapter. One paragraph is too short and the whole paper is too long.
- First reading: mark those words you don’t know with color pen 1
While reading you will meet words you don’t know. This step for finding those words.
- Don’t stop reading. Just checking words.
- Keep reading and don’t worry if you do not understand the context.
- Writing meanings
After finishing reading one chapter, do this step 2.
- Find meanings of the words that you checked
- Write the meaning next to the words with a pencil(erasable pencil).
- Second reading: Understanding the entire chapter.
While reading try to understand the context of the chapter.
- Third reading: check important and questionable point.
- Mark important points with color pen 2.
- Mark questionable points with color pen 3.
- Each point is not required to be as same as other people’s. If you think ‘this part is important or questionable’ then mark that point.
If you follow instructions above, you will have read the whole chapter three times; just like this; read chapter 1, read chapter 2, …, read chapter 1, read chapter 2…
Now, do these actions for the entire paper.
- Read entire paper
Try to understand inter-chapter context.
- If you want to just understand the paper, stop here, but if you want to do more with the paper, try step 2.
Writing summaries for three points below.
- Main contents
Summarize entire paper contents. Try to illustrate every chapter in one sentence and also try to express the main idea of paper in one sentence. It is not easy :)
Find new/innovative idea of paper and summarize it into one sentence.
Analyze the limitations of the paper. Then, think how you could improve the idea of the paper.
- Main contents
Originally this article was written for korean student who want to read an english academic paper.