What You Can Learn by Reading Academic Research Papers

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In college, you get plenty of reading assignments. Whether you actually do the reading is a secret you’ll never tell. But reading from other sources, apart from textbooks, can broaden your horizons. One often overlooked source of rich, recent information is academic research papers. By their nature, they’re backed by data and reviewed prior to publication. You can gain all kinds of new insights in any area that interests you. And, you may just enjoy it!


How Reading, in General, Helps You

Reading, whether it’s your favorite book or something a little grittier, can help you learn new things. After all, Bill Gates, one of the most widely cited sources of inspiration for starting a company, has said that reading is the way he learns. Other well-known business people cite reading as a way to gain new insights and learn something new. Reading a variety of topics makes you knowledgeable and helps when it comes to getting your business off the ground.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to take psychology classes, but the class times compete with a class you need for your major. Maybe there’s a marketing technique one of your classes touched on briefly, but you want to know more about it. Finding relevant academic papers can help fill in any knowledge gaps you have while also teaching you something new.

Many different factors influence your academic performance. Some of the biggest ones are your socioeconomic background and how much time you put in to studying and attending classes. But according to a study, The Impact of Pleasure Reading, access to pleasure reading significantly influences your academic performance. Generally, if you’re interested in a topic, you’ll seek out the information and read it for your enjoyment. Research papers are a great way to make sure you’re getting accurate information about something that piques your interest.


How to Read Academic Papers

You may have a dislike of academic papers because of how dense they are. Don’t let that deter you from reading them on your own time, especially if it’s a topic you’re interested in. Whether you want to keep up with the latest research in medicine or new technologies like machine learning, someone is writing about it.

Just like you make a plan for starting your own business, make a plan for reading academic papers. Because they tend to be thick with information and jargon, reading them may take some time when you’re first starting. The more often you read them, the easier it becomes.


Where to Find Research Papers

A perk of being a registered college student is access to hundreds, if not thousands, of research papers. Many schools have subscriptions to academic databases that allow you to read scholarly articles. Generally, all you need is to prove you’re still a student at the school, usually by providing your school email address and password.

There are also free resources to help you find scholarly articles to read in your free time. That way, you can keep reading academic papers after graduation. Google Scholar archives scholarly articles and makes them available whenever you need them. Just like academic databases, you can find research papers on almost any topic.

Next time you’re curious about something, check out any academic research papers on the topic. Yes, they may be hard to get through at first. But learning something new or filling in any knowledge gaps you have on a subject make dense papers worth it.

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