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Reading for Research: Social Sciences

Close Read


As you read an article, ask yourself the following questions.

  • How does this article relate to your research project? How will it help you?
  • Does this article contradict other articles you have read?  Which ones?
  • Does this article agree with articles you have read?  Which ones?
  • What are the the crucial quotes, ideas, and points of view? Find ways to identify and retrieve them. Make sure you note page numbers.
  • What are your questions and concerns as you read the article?
  • Does the source falls into a specific category Background, Exhibit, Argument or Method?
    • Background: What background information does the source provide? What are the sources for this information/data? What have other studies/researchers found? Is the source informing me?

    • Exhibit: What data, statistics, results from this source can be used as evidence for my argument?

    • Argument: How does the source use data/quotes to connect with what other sources say? How does the source connect ideas/data to their own position or argument?  Is the source providing a supporting argument or a counter argument? 

    • Method: Does the author use a particular method or theory?