Understanding Research Papers - Demystified

Researchers have spent centuries of efforts in conceiving new ideas! New ideas bringing radical changes in the society. They have documented their knowledge in the forms of Patents, Research Papers etc.

The density of knowledge contained in these documents is high. Hence, it becomes a challenge for budding researchers to understand them. A lot of students seeking m.tech thesis guidance in Chandigarh  need a solution to this challenge. This article helps students looking for  dissertation services in Chandigarh or elsewhere.

A simplified technique to understand these documents is to do it in phases. It requires to read the research paper in four phases. Each phase targets a specific goal. First phase of understanding aims at getting acquainted with the research paper only.

Do's for this phase are:

  • Skim through the pages

  • Ignore difficult terms

  • Consider diagram as a picture

Don'ts for this phase are:

  • Never count the number of pages

  • Reading completely

  • Trying to understand

  • Trying to relate

This phase aims at knowing the structure of research paper only.  This phase will take only four to five minutes.  At the end of this phase, you know exactly how complex the research paper is. This will act as a filtering process for all the papers which are not as per your needs and would not to take  very long.

Only those research papers would have made to the second phase which are as per your needs. The second phase involves  reading the complete paper  only  without any disruption. In this phase, reader must keep in mind that we are reading and not trying to understand completely. Reader may come across difficult terms and phrases. But you should not stop and try to decode those terms. Pick a highlighter and highlight the phrases/terms for later reference. Time taken in this phase is dependent on your reading speed and length of the paper chosen.

We have completed half of the process now. Still you are not very thorough with the concepts involved. But a thing of joy is that you have not left the paper out of fear. This is one of the biggest achievement of this process followed.

Third phase of the process does not involve the already chosen paper. Use any medium to get an understanding of terms highlighted in previous phase. This phase helps you to gain knowledge about your chosen domain. The knowledge acquired will help you in attempts of understanding other papers also.

Now that you have completed three phases, fourth phase will be a cup of cake. You will  be able to grasp the research quotient now from the paper.


For future reference, jot down the knowledge gained from the research paper. Points advised to jot are:

1. Literature review done by the author

2. Objectives undertaken by the author

3. Various available approaches to achieve the goal

4. Reason for choosing a specific approach

5. Future Work for the research initiative    

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