Look up any unknown words in the article! Academic jargon can be difficult to understand. A keyword or a key point to the article may be a work you haven't seen before!
Engage with the article/book. React! Make connections! Ask questions! Doubt! The more of this mental processing you are able to do, the further along in the research process you get :)
Use these reactions to inform your next search. What was surprising or interesting? What connections do you want to flesh out? What questions needed answers? What doubts needed clarity?
Read the entire article until you know it's useful! You can skim and scan the abstract and other key sections of the paper to gauge how useful it will be. Further instructions for this are below. Save yourself time by using this method!
Reading strategies for vetting sources for close reading