Article Analysis

Think of a magazine. Reporters who discover important information share it with the world by writing news articles for publications like magazines. People like your professors, doctors, scientists, and other highly educated professionals also write articles. Articles by scholars are found in publications called journals. You can think of journals as magazines for people with PhDs. You won’t find journals on a newsstand. You’ll find them in university libraries or online through a library’s website. The most common type of scholarly article is a Research Article, which presents new information found through research and experimentation. Most research articles follow a basic pattern of seven parts. Understanding this framework can help you read through scholarly articles. The Header section comes first. The Header contains all the basic information you need to refer to the article. Including the title, authors, citation information, and sometimes an abstract or summary of the article. Second, is the Introduction. The Introduction includes the main idea of the article, which can be a thesis statement, research question, or hypothesis. The Introduction discusses why the main idea is important and how it fits into the larger field of knowledge. The Introduction may have a “Literature Review”, which covers previous research on the topic. Third, is the Methods section, where the authors describe exactly what they studied and how. They review the step-by-step process of how they argued their thesis, answered their research question, or tested their hypothesis. The fourth part is the Results. These are, of course, the results from following the methods of the previous section, detailing the new information produced by the research. Fifth is a section for Discussion. Here, the authors describe what the Results mean, if the actual results were the predicted results, and how the Results relate to the thesis, research question, or hypothesis. Sixth is the Conclusion, which recaps the article and includes the overall “take away” from the article. Seventh and last are the References. In many research articles, this section is like the Works Cited page in student essays. It is a list of all the information sources used during the study. So there you have the outline of a scholarly research article. This should make reading and skimming articles easier. Happy Researching!

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