Start with a purpose
READ THE ABSTRACT FIRST
It’s probably the first thing you see on the page, and it’s there for a reason! The abstract is designed to give you an at-a-glance idea of what the entire paper is about, from introduction to conclusion. Reading the abstract for consistency with your desired theme is key to efficiency in research; if the paper does not seem to align, scrap it & move on. Hundreds of papers are published daily, and if you find 10 articles from a broad Google Scholar search, chances are that only 1 or 2 of them are actually pertinent to your specific topic.Save time and read the abstract!
Identify the main idea of the paper
Otherwise known as the hypothesis, it is the reason the researchers conducted this experiment/study – the big question they are trying to answer. Make sure to write it down and keep it in mind, as it’s key to understanding every aspect of the paper. (protip: it’s typically found at the end of the Introduction!)