THTR 1111 - Sustainable Fashion


Academic writing has features that vary only slightly across the different disciplines. Knowing these elements and the purpose of each serves help you to read and understand academic texts efficiently and effectively, and then apply what you read to your paper or project.

Social Science (and Science) original research articles generally follow IMRD: Introduction- Methods-Results-Discussion


  • Introduces topic of article
  • Presents the "Research Gap"/Statement of Problem article will address
  • How research presented in the article will solve the problem presented in research gap.
  • Literature Review. presenting and evaluating previous scholarship on a topic.  Sometimes, this is separate section of the article. 

​Method & Results

  • How research was done, including analysis and measurements.  


  • What answers were found


  • Interpretation of Results (What Does It Mean? Why is it important?)
  • Implications for the Field, how the study contributes to the existing field of knowledge
  • Suggestions for further research

You might also see IBC: Introduction - Body - Conclusion


  • Identify the subject
  • State the thesis 
  • Describe why thesis is important to the field (this may be in the form of a literature review or general prose)


  • Presents Evidence/Counter Evidence
  • Integrate other writings (i.e. evidence) to support argument 
  • Discuss why others may disagree (counter-evidence) and why argument is still valid


  • Summary of argument
  • Evaluation of argument by pointing out its implications and/or limitations 
  • Anticipate and address possible counter-claims
  • Suggest future directions of research

As you prepare to read the article, it helps to know why you are reading it; you'll want to read with purpose.  Is the article for an assignment?  Are you critiquing the article?  Will you be using the article in a paper?    Since we don't read academic writing for fun, we often want to get to the point as quickly as possible. You may want to focus on certain elements of the article, using those parts that will help you most. This might mean not reading from start to finish, doing what is called a structural read before you move on to a close read.

Read the Abstract: What is the article about?

Read the Introduction: What is the research question?

Skip to the Discussion: What are the key findings?

Go back to the Methods: Who where the participants? What is the data?

Skim the Results: What did they do?


Consider using the following matrix to identify parts of the article and what purpose they serve




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?