How to Read a Paper in an Efficient Way

Our thesis is quite a theoretical thesis where full of reading papers. After reading some papers, I find that we don’t have to read word by word, and it won’t give us better understanding at all, sometimes it gives negative effects though.

How do we read the paper? I have some opinions:

1. Read the abstract and first 1 or 2 sentences of each paragraph in introduction part, to grasp the general idea of this paper. The reason why you should know the idea is that you want to know if this paper is really what you want, and can you find the answers here.

2. If this paper is suited, then read the equations and figures in background knowledge part. We you reading an equation, think about are the parameters a scalar or a matrix, and what is the dimension of the matrix, how can I get the parameters, and is that constant or an input or output. Flow chart is very important since it gives you better understanding to know the procedures.

3. Don’t afraid of the terms that you don’t know, skip it at beginning. Don’t let them become a barrier ¬†to understand the main idea. Reading the references or search it on the internet if you really need it to understand some knowledge or equations.

4. Looking for some implementation of the theory, try to map the theory into practical things.

5. Read again and again if the paper is very useful!

That’s my opinions, I will add more if I come up with some new.

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