You read a book different than a website, and you read a newpaper article differently than both of those. A scholarly article is no different in that is is different. Here's our patented (pending...errr.. not applied for) method for reading a scholarly article:
Scholarly articles are written by fancypantses for other fancypantses. They are written for people who already have an advanced knowledge of the topic being discussed. Reading through each section multiple times then reading through the whole paper once of twice afterwards will help you get a better sense of what this article is saying and what it means.
And don't forget to take notes!
Databases and catalogs don't think like Google does. You'll have to translate how you think about your topic into "Database-ese" to get the most out of your search.
"Databases use something called boolean, which means that they really like keywords and the word AND"
"Databases AND boolean AND keywords AND "and"
If I want to find examples of gamification of information literacy in english classes, all I need to do is find my keywords and connect them:
"Information Literacy" AND Gam* and English
The quotes around "Information Literacy" means that it will be searched as a phrase and not as individual words.
The astirix after gam is a wildcard- that means I'll get results that use the word "game", "gamify", "gamification". I'll also get gamy and gambler, but that's unlikely.
NOT is another great joiner, if you want to exclude certain results. If I was only interested in looking at Information literacy in curriculums that were not history I would search
"Information Literacy" AND curriculum NOT history
But I might miss some important stuff that includes the word history, so it's usually better to be specific (AND Chemistry, AND sociology, etc).