A primary article generally includes the following sections: abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, and discussion. We will be looking at each of these sections in detail.
1. (2) Read the abstract of the paper. Describe what information, in general, an abstract provides and how it might be useful to scientists or anyone else reading the article.
2. (2) Read the introduction of the paper. Describe what general information is found in the introduction of a primary article.
3. (2) Read the methods section of the paper, which includes “study population”, “case ascertainment”, “control selection”, “data collection”, and “exposure assessment”. Describe the overall purpose of this section of the paper.
4. (4) Describe how the description of methods in this paper is different from the description in the newspaper articles (secondary literature). Then, cite 3 specific examples of information you were able to get from this paper that you didn’t get from the newspaper articles.
5. (2) Read the results section of the paper. Describe what general information is found in the results section, and describe the different ways the information is presented to you.
6. (4) Read the discussion section of the paper. Describe, in general, what issues are discussed in this section. Also cite 3 major points made in the discussion section of this paper specifically.
7. (1) At the bottom of the first column of p. 653, there is a date when “submitted”, and a date for “final version accepted”. The time between these dates can vary from several weeks to several months, or even years! Describe what is going on during this time period, and explain why it is important.
Part II: Summary and Reflection
8. (2) In your opinion, do newspaper articles (secondary literature) provide a good summary of the original research paper? Explain your answer.
9. (3) Based on your readings of the both the primary literature and the secondary literature, summarize the main differences between the primary and secondary literature? (think purpose, audience, content covered, etc.)
10. (3) After reading the primary article describing this research, did your opinion about the experimental design (strengths/weaknesses) or validity of conclusions in this study change at all? Explain your answer.