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How best to read a research paper: for the social sciences (November)

Learn how you can read research papers efficiently, extracting what you need to shape your research and inform your writing

  • 8 Nov 2018, 1.30pm to 8 Nov 2018, 4.45pm GMT
  • Room to be confirmed, University of Bath
  • This event is free

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

Speaker profiles

Dr Trevor Day
Dr Trevor Day is a writing specialist, with a research and teaching background in science and social sciences. He is author of Success in Academic Writing (Palgrave Macmillan) and has written many books, research articles, review papers, and newspaper and magazine articles, in different genres.

Who should attend

Doctoral students

Booking details

Register for this event


Room to be confirmed University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom


If you have any questions, please contact us.