Because critical analysis of published information is an essential component of scientific life, it is important that students be trained in its practice. Undergraduate students who are more accustomed to reading textbooks and taking lecture notes find it difficult to appreciate primary publications. To help such students, we have developed a checklist that helps them analyze different components of a research article in basic biomedical sciences. Students used the checklist to analyze critically a published article. The students were assigned an article and asked to write a paper (maximum 2 pages of single-spaced type) assessing it. This assignment has been found useful to both undergraduate and graduate students in pharmacology and physiology. Student responses to a questionnaire were highly favorable; students thought the exercise provided them with some of the essential skills for life-long learning.