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How To FInd Scholarly Articles: Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

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Anatomy of a Scholarly Research Article

A Wednesday Webinar Video about Identifying and Locating Scholarly Articles. 30 minutes. 



Anatomy of a Scholarly Article


When searching for scholarly articles, usually the best result a database can give the researcher is content in a scholarly journal or peer-reviewed journal. The researcher will still need to look at the parts of an article to make sure the article is a scholarly article. The sections described below are a great start. To the right, see how these sections may appear.

The title uses professional terms, jargon, and situations.
Usually, there are multiple authors. Usually, by or near the name, the associations of the author are listed. In this article they are at the bottom. In a scholarly article, there is a high degree of transparency. You can see here at the bottom of this page, that you can easily correspond with the authors of this study.
Most scholarly articles include an abstract. They are author-written summations of what research is about and what it accomplished. Never use only the information found in the abstract. It is author-written and misses the context of the full details of the research. When citing research, it is assumed that the entire paper and its conclusions have been read.
This article does not have its abstract on the first page. That is usually where the abstract is found.
Literature Review
This section shares what the researcher's reviewed for this study. If a statement is made, there is an attribution to where that statement came from. Often students find this section highly readable and don't realize that this is not the work of the article. Usually items in this section need to be found in full text to be cited or use the APA method for indirect sources. Indirect sources should be used sparingly.
This is the most important section of the research paper.

This section is usually quite detailed and lengthy. It can include tables, graphs, images, and other tools used to show details about the research. Data will undergo analysis. This section should be presented so clearly and with such detail that it could be replicated. This section proves the validity of the study
Background, Purpose, & Significance of Research
A scholarly article will often share the parameters and setting of the research. This often answers the who, what, when, and why of the research. Why were some people includes and others not? What prompted this research? Who where the subjects?

These sections can have other names or be blended together. They will, however, precede or be blended into the Method or Methodology section.

Items that may be covered:
ethical considerations

Continuation of Method and sometimes included in that section.
This section is not always included. However, when it is, take extra time to read it. This is a summary of what researchers may have wished they had done better. Sometimes it states inadvertent biases, highlights generalities, or expresses concern. A researcher might look to this as ways to improve and advance the study of this topic.
This is usually a concise wrap-up of what the research found.
These are usually references attached to the Literature Review section or other citations in the body of the work. These show the chain of academic effort. References These are usually references attached to the Literature Review section or other citations in the body of the work. These show the chain of academic effort.

Scholarly Articles

This guide focuses on scholarly research articles. Scholarly journals contain many types of literature.

Empirical Studies | Research Reports:  These are primary sources where authors report research. These could be quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, or other types of research. When a rubric or assignment calls for a scholarly article, it is usually the research type with all the sections specifically methods. 

Review Articles: An article summarizing studies in a discipline. The work identifies trends or draws conclusions from existing work. Systematic reviews and literature reviews are in this area. Nursing and Literature (ENGL 102) usually require these types of research. 

Theoretical Articles: This usually contains words like conceptual, framework, model, theoretical foundation, and perspectives.

News, Book Reviews, Opinion, Letters to the Editor, etc. Brief articles providing insight or opinion on new books. When the rubric calls for a scholarly article, these are not the items that should be used. 

Images of skeletons of animals.

ThingLink Augmented Scholarly Article


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