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Writing 114 (Hothem)


Scholarly journals contain more than one type of article. In one issue of a journal, such as this issue of Nature, you may find original research articles, review articles, letters to the editor, book reviews, and more. When browsing articles in databases or in paper journals, keep the following questions in mind:

  • What is this piece's purpose?
  • Is this an original research article?
  • Does this article summarize the original research of others?
  • Why is this material included in the journal?

Scholarly Articles - Key Article Types

two main types of scholarly articles: original research and the literature review

Review Article Example

Additional Article Types

research letter is a shorter version of a full original research article.  Be aware that this is not the same as a letter to an editor in an academic journal.

Letters are often written in response to articles, editorials, and other materials. They do not go through a peer-review process, but can give you insight into the scholarly conversation around a topic. They are not included in all databases, but you may find them included in some of them.

Research Notes are short articles.  They may be called short reports, technical notes, case reports etc.  Be aware that some limiters in databases may also include correspondence in a Notes limiter.