You are here

How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences

How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences
A Very Practical Guide for Students

  • Phillip C. Shon - Professor of Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

120 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Using a reading code sheet developed by the author, this book teaches students how to approach social and behavioral science journal articles as texts that can be deciphered structurally, mechanically, and grammatically. The included reading code sheet and reading strategies will allow students and researchers to systematize the reading, note-taking, and organizing of voluminous amounts of information in an easily identifiable and retrievable format, and will be a huge confidence boost to those who struggle with this first phase in the writing process.
Serial Killers and Book Reports
Trying to Fix Mechanical and Structural Writing Problems with Abstract Tools
Three Types of Stains and False Assumptions about Writing
Should I Even Read This? How to Read the Abstract, General Introduction and Methods Section
So What? How to Read the General Literature Review, Psychology Introductions and Results Section
Becoming a Part of the Scholarly Community: How to Read the Discussion and Conclusion
Highlighting and Organizing the SPL, CPL, GAP, and POC
Will the Reading Code Sheet Work on Non-Social Science Texts?
Conclusion: The Intersubjectivity of the Reading and Writing Process
Appendix: Reading Code Sheet


'This practical and accessible volume offers insights into reading, writing and assessing essays and journal articles - and as such it is an invaluable resource for students, researchers and lecturers alike. Shon's writing is engaging and entertaining; he opens up the 'black box' of academic reading and writing, explaining how to decode and critique formal scientific writing and systematically organise information gained from reading journal articles'
- Dr. Lorraine WhitmarshSchool of Psychology, University of Cardiff

This reader learned a great deal and is convinced by this short, sharp guide... it is a very useful text to be recommended for all students who want practical help to demystify some of the common academic processes.

Eleanor Byram
Educate Journal

I liked reading this book. The writer has a nice style. However there were parts, first two chapters, where I felt it was taking up my time with information I did not think added to the overall thrust of the book.

The book argue for and presents a Reading Code Sheet for Social Science Journal Articles. This is a very helpful tool - wish I was aware of it when doing my PhD thesis!

I teach critical thinking for professionals to 1st year University students. I would like to introduce the concepts in this book and alert students to the tools. It would be a small part of the module. I would suggest the book as supplementary reading to students for when articles and papers become an important part of their assignment research.

I will recommend to colleagues who are embarking on Masters or PhD degrees.

Mr Karl Anderson
Department of Business and Law, National Univ of Ireland, Maynooth
June 12, 2015

A useful text for students more likely to use journals rather than books

Miss Mary Frances Forry
Social Sciences, West College Scotland
March 25, 2015

A great guide to help students use more sophisticated sources of information.

Miss Mary Frances Forry
Social Sciences, West College Scotland
March 2, 2015

Very practical advices on guiding students how to read journal articles for their research project. Particular useful for those who do not have previous experience of doing so.

Dr Ricky Li
School of Law Accounting and Finance, University of South Wales
August 1, 2014

A useful guide which enhances students' confidence in analysing journal articles

Dr Geraldine Hammersley
Human Resource Management, Coventry University
June 10, 2014

A no-nonsense guide for those undertaking academic writing projects using journals, or those on practical courses needing guidance with sources

Miss Hilary Scott
Arts - Media, English & Culture, University of Northampton
March 7, 2014

This book is easy to read and provide students from all kind of disciplines a practical introduction in the social sciences literature. I've got very positive comments from my students!

Professor Ellen Jansen
Centre for Teacher Education, Groningen University (RuG)
February 10, 2014

Very practical text for students to use across their courses

Dr David Miller
Social Work, Case Western Reserve University
January 14, 2014

Phillip C. Shon

Phillip C. Shon received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois (Chicago); he also holds an M.A. in linguistics and a B.A. in philosophy from Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago). He is currently a Professor of Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology where he teaches courses in homicide and criminological theory. He is the author of How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences (2nd ed.). London: Sage, 2015; Language and Demeanor in Police-Citizen Encounters. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2008; Respect, Defense, and Self-Identity: Profiling Parricide in... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format: