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After reading, the student should ask these questions:

  • What specific problem does this research address? Why is it important?
  • What methods were used? Were they good ones?
  • What are the specific findings? Am I able to summarize them in one or two sentences?
  • What evidence supports the findings?
  • How are the findings unique/new/unusual or supportive of other work in the field?
  • What are some of the specific applications of the ideas presented here? What are some further experiments that would answer remaining questions?

Strategy 4: draw inferences

Not everything that readers learn from an article is stated explicitly. Students should rely on their prior knowledge and world experience, as well as the background provided in the article, to draw inferences from reading material. Research has shown that readers who actively draw inferences are better able to understand and recall information.

As an example, the box below contains an excerpt from the Introduction of an article in the journal Biochemistry *. The comments in italics are questions and inferences that might be drawn by a student reader.

Rett Syndrome is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder and one of the most common causes of mental retardation in females Comment: Hmmm…must be related to a gene on the X-chromosome, with an incidence of 1 in 10000-15000. Comment: How common is that? Not too likely to happen to me, but there must be several such children born in Houston every year. Rett syndrome patients are characterized by a period of normal growth and development (6-18 months) followed by regression with loss of speech and purposeful hand use. Comment: What happens? Something must be triggered or activated at late infancy. Patients also develop seizures, autism, and ataxia. After initial regression, the condition stabilizes and patients survive into adulthood. Studies of familial cases provided evidence that Rett is caused by X-linked dominant mutations in a gene subject to X-chromosome inactivation. Recently, a number of mutations in the gene encoding the methyl-CpG binding transcriptional repressor MeCP2 have been associated with Rett Syndrome. Comment: MeCP2 mutations probably cause Rett Syndrome. This must be an important master-regulator to affect so many processes in the brain. I wonder what they know about it…

*excerpt from Ballestar, E., Yusufzai, T.M., and Wolffe, A.P. (2000) Effects of Rett Syndrome Mutations of the Methyl-CpG Binding Domain of the Transcriptional Repressor MeCP2 on Selectivity for Association with Methylated DNA. Biochemistry 31, 7100-7106. Comments in italics added.

Strategy 5: take notes as you read

Effective readers take notes—it improves recall and comprehension. Advise students to put quotation marks around any exact wording they write down so that they can avoid accidental plagiarism when they write about the article. Read more about recognizing and avoiding plagiarism here.

Essential notes to take about an article:

Complete citation. Author(s), Date of publication, Title (book or article), Journal, Volume #, Issue #, pages:

If web access: url; date accessed

Key Words:

General subject:

Specific subject:




Summary of key points:


Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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