Reading primary literature
Materials and strategies to help
instructors teach students to effectively read primary literature and write about scientific resaerch.
Reading Primary Literature web tutorial:
A web-based tutorial that teaches students how to read and analyze
the scientific literature. Includes practice questions and homeworks assignments
based on passages from an actual research article. The tutorial was developed
in collaboration with Jasmine Vaughan (former Librarian and Technology
Consultant) and Kenyon students, and is aimed at beginning science students
and non-science majors.
Gillen, C.M. Criticism and Interpretation: Teaching the Persuasive
Aspects of Research Articles. CBE
Life Sci Educ 5(1): 34-38, 2006. Discusses the importance of explaining
higher order processes like interpretation and criticism when reading
articles in classes and give practical suggestions.
Gillen C.M., J.R. Vaughan, and B.R . Lye*. An online tutorial for helping
non-science majors read primary research literature in biology. Advances
Physiology Education 28: 95-99, 2004. Discusses use of primary literature
in a non-science majors class and assesses the Reading
Primary Literature web tutorial.
Reading primary literature booklet: A 44 page booklet
intented to be used a supplement in undergraduate courses where undergraduate
research articles are used. The booklet leads students through each section
of a paper, encouraging them to develop a critical stance. End of section
questions guide students through selecting and evaluating an article.
More details are available on the Benjamin
- Summer communication groups: A project to teach science students to communicate with non-scientists. The curriculum is here.
- Writing about science: A chapter in Graff and Birkenstein's They Say / I Say.
Syllabi and project instructions for courses with a reading
primary literature component:
of Exercise (non-majors lecture)
Animal Physiology (upper level lecture)