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Scientific Papers and Lab Reports: How to Read Scientific Papers

Originally created for Agricultural Sciences courses, this guide will help you identify the parts of a scientific paper, lab reports, and some citing guidelines.

How to Read a Scientific Paper

College requires a lot of reading but you don't have to read everything! Follow these tips to discover best practices for being the most efficient researcher.



From Utah State University Libraries

Want a deeper dive?

Follow these links for a more in-depth understanding of how to read a scientific paper/scholarly articles.

  • Reading a Scientific Paper from Jennifer Simms, librarian at Indiana University Bloomington. Scroll past the video for a breakdown of each section.
  • How to Read a Scientific Article from Dr. Mary Purugganan and Dr. Jan Hewitt for the Cain Project for Engineering and Professional Communication from Rice University. This article goes into quite a bit of detail but it also includes a template for taking notes and references to consulted works. The note-taking template is VERY helpful if you choose to continue higher education research.


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