1) Read & think critically
2) Make connections with related materials
3) Find out the most important landmark studies and key authors on the topic
4) Evaluate sources
5) Be selective : for every material that is reviewed for your paper, you should be able to justify why you include it.
6) Place your working thesis in context
Source: Duke University Writing Studio
Check this How to Read a Scholarly Article guide, if you are new to academic research.