Activity 11

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Scientific Article Analysis

These activities present scientific and technical peer-reviewed articles. Students practice reviewing difficult (complex) text and accompanying graphic illustrations, charts, and graphs.

The activity offers challenging science content with an emphasis on critical thinking. Emphasis is placed on recognizing the importance of graphs, charts, and illustrations to communicate technical information.

Go To Subject Area to Select Articles

General Instructions for Article Analysis

Learning Objectives
  • Improve student reading-approach with complex text.
  • Correlate charts, tables, and illustrations with text.
  • Identify key sections of technical articles.
  • Confirm authorship of the article is from qualified/credentialed expert(s).
  • Examine the introduction, body, and conclusion as an integrated whole.
  • Interpret the thrust of an article’s support for it’s thesis.
  • Evaluate clarity and usefulness of supporting illustrations.

Key Take-Away

Technical (scholarly) articles are written by researchers and professionals in their field of expertise. Compensation to the authors of technical papers tend to be a university or not-for-profit organization. Technical papers examine a unique idea or less-well understood aspect of a given subject area. These articles tend to be long and include subject-specific terms that are unfamiliar to the general public.

In contrast, popular magazine articles are usually written by journalists who are compensated by an industry or an organization. These articles are shorter and focus on current trends or public interest areas. Organizations publishing these types of articles are supported through a combination of individuals purchasing copies of a magazine or trade journal – and also through paid advertising appearing alongside the articles. offers an excellent summary comparison (pdf).

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Complex, technical articles generally offer credentials of the author(s). They frequently include an abstract along with an introduction. These texts usually offer a summary of any methodology used. They present major findings and end with a conclusion. Well documented references are found (usually) after the conclusion.

Oklahoma Standards Emphasized

Science and Engineering Practices
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Use mathematical and computational thinking
  • Engage in scientific argument from evidence
  • Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information
Cross Cutting Concepts
  • Systems and System Models

English Language Arts Standards

10.3.R.5 Students will distinguish among different kinds of evidence (e.g., logical, empirical, anecdotal) used to support conclusions and arguments in texts.

11.6.R.3 Students will evaluate the relevance, reliability, and validity of the information gathered.

Math Standards

A2.D.2 Analyze statistical thinking to draw inferences, make predictions, and justify conclusions.

Colorado Academic Standards Emphasized

  • Subject-area domain knowledge
  • Information literacy
  • Critical thinking


Honeycutt ……… Terms of use