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CHEM 357: Topics in Bioorganic Chemistry (HC) Spring 2019

Chemistry 357: Topics in Bioorganic Chemistry (Charkoudian)

Read Primary Research Articles

Primary research articles typically have the same structure. The text is proceeded by an abstract, which is a summary of the article's main points. Next, there is an introduction, a methods section, a results section, and a discussion section (IMRD)

Step 1: Read the article very quickly

  • Read the abstract
    • The abstract will tell you the research question and findings. If what you read was relevant, continue on.
  • Glance at figures 
    • If they show relevant mechanisms, pathways, biosyntheses, etc., read on.
  • Skim the introduction section
    • This will give you a good idea of the background, hypotheses, and scholarship the study builds upon. If the article is still relevant, continue on.
  • Read the discussion section
    • You'll find out how the results were reconciled to the hypothesis. Still relevant? Move on to Step 2!

Step 2: Read the article thoroughly

If the article is highly relevant, you'll then want to read it all the way through. Scientific articles tend to be complex, and you may have to read it more than once. Take notes, and consider writing a brief annotation to increase your comprehension even further.