Skip to Main Content

Using Academic Sources

This is a companion guide to "Finding Academic Sources". Its goal is to make student researchers more comfortable with using scholarly material in their own research.

Deeper Reading

Once you have skimmed the abstracts and determined which resources are going to be best for your research, it's time to slow down. Grab a pen or pencil, print out the articles, remove distractions, and really settle into the sources. According to Dr. David Handel, "Slow-reading is for scholars. The more slow-reading you do, the more your knowledge base will expand." To analyze information requires time. Acquiring information is not instantaneous. 

In our hurry-up world, it might be tempting to give things a quick skim and find a quote that will support your thinking. Yet, to truly take in new knowledge, you'll need to give yourself time and space to slowly read the sources. On many assignments your instructor will be asking for a solution to a problem or an opinion on an ongoing topic. They do not want you to spew facts you have found. (Hint: They already know the facts and are looking for you to provide some sort of thought-provoking commentary.)

Here is a link to Dr. Handel's article "Slow-Reading is the New Deep Learning." (yes, it's long). Scroll about three-quarters of the down, and there are some great questions to consider as you opt to do a deep dive into unexplored territory (AKA research).