University of Bath

How best to read a research paper: for engineering and design

Learn how to read efficiently and extract the information you need to shape your research and inform your writing.

16 May 20181.30pm
16 May 20184.45pm

About the workshop

During your doctoral training you are likely to read hundreds of papers. How can you do so efficiently, extracting what you need to shape your research and inform your writing? That is what this workshop is about.

This workshop (previously titled 'Critical Reading') will reveal there is no single way to read a research paper. It depends on your purpose, your familiarity with the subject matter, and your level of experience. Your ability to analyse the structure, style and other features of a publication – whether a research paper, review article or some other communication – is also key to developing your own academic writing.

The course is run by Dr Trevor Day, a professional writer, trainer and writing coach. Trevor has helped hundreds of university students and staff to read and write more effectively. The course explores the strategies to read critically and more efficiently, and includes tips on how to organise your reading to match your purpose. There are practical exercises and opportunities for questions and answers, which lead on to how to extract information and ideas to incorporate into your writing.

Researcher Development Framework (RDF)

This workshop addresses the following RDF subdomains:

  • Knowledge base (A1): information seeking, information literacy and management, and academic literacy
  • Cognitive abilities (A2): analysing, synthesising, critical thinking and evaluating
  • Creativity (A3): argument construction
  • Professional conduct (C1): IPR, copyright and attribution

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able, or better able, to:

  • decide whether a paper is worth reading and, if so, how best to do so
  • apply your understanding of the reading process to make your academic reading more flexible and efficient
  • evaluate the worth of your own and other people's writing
  • extract information and ideas from a paper, quickly and efficiently, and record and compare them with other sources of information
  • begin to apply strategies and techniques to enhance your reading and increase your productivity

Related workshops

This course complements the half-day courses - Planning and writing your doctoral thesis, Thinking and writing critically, and How to write a research paper.

Book a place

Please note - if you book a place you are required to attend the whole of the session. If you are unable to commit to this, please cancel your place in plenty of time and let another student attend. Please arrive promptly to the session and remember to sign the attendance sheet.