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CH 115: General Chemistry I

A guide for students in General Chemistry I.

How to Read a Scholarly Article

An article summarizing the results of a research study is trying to both explain the study as well as the reason the study was conducted. The specific structure of a scientific scholarly article may vary slightly between disciplines and journals, but the overall format is basically the same.


The sections of a scholarly article can be thought to answer the questions posed below:

Experimental Process

Section of Paper

What did I do in a nutshell? Abstract
What is the problem? Introduction
How have others worked on this problem?

Literature Review (might be part of the introduction or a separate section)

How did I solve the problem? Materials and Methods
What did I find out? Results
What does it mean? Discussion/Conclusions
Who helped me out? Acknowledgments (optional)
Whose work did I refer to? Works Cited/References/Bibliography
Extra Information Appendices (optional)


Table adapted from How to Write a Paper in Scientific Journal Style and Format (Bates College).