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Writing 117 (Gingold): Article Types

Scholarly vs. Popular

Often you will be asked to include peer-reviewed literature in your writing.  Fortunately, many databases include a Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed/Academic Journal limiter to help you determine is an article is indeed peer reviewed. 

Research vs. Review Articles

The Information Cycle

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Original Research Articles

Original research articles are based on an experiment or study.  The authors will report the purpose of the study, the research methodology, and results. This is a familiar structure for original research articles > IMRAD: introduction, methods, results, and discussion.

Also called:

  • primary research article/source
  • primary literature article
  • empirical research article

Note:

In describing the purpose of their study, authors will present a mini literature review to discuss how previous research has led up to their original research project.

Review Articles

Review articles summarize or synthesize content from earlier published research and are useful for surveying the literature on a specific research area.  Review articles can lead you to original research articles.

  • Narrative Review: a literature review that describes and discusses the state of the science of a specific topic or theme.
  • Systematic Review: a comprehensive review of all relevant studies on a particular topic/question. The systematic review is created by following an explicit methodology for identifying/selecting the studies to include and evaluating their results.
  • Meta-Analysis: the statistical procedure for combining data from multiple studies. This is usually but not always presented with a systematic review.