Journals are collections of articles which focus on particular topics. These articles are published periodically, such as four times a year. One common purpose of an article is to report on new research. For your assignments, journal articles can provide you with up-to-date content on topics you have to write or talk about. To efficiently read journal articles, you need to:
Information on the first page of the article will often help you decide if you should read further.
Abstracts are particularly good for quickly deciding if the content matches what you need for your assignment. They are usually organised into distinctive parts that provide an overview of the whole article.
It is not always necessary to read the whole article. Two common short cuts are:
Journal articles commonly have distinctive parts (eg, Abstract, Literature Review, Discussion…). Each part has a clear function, which helps you to find specific information. (You may not need to read the whole thing.)