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Psychology 120 (Tiemensma): Original Research or Review?

Health Psychology

Original Research Article Example

Original research articles are based on an experiment or study. They will have a methodology section that tells how the experiment was set up and conducted, a results or discussion section, and usually a conclusion section.

Using Nutrition Labeling as a Potential Tool for Changing Eating Habits of University Dining Hall Patrons

Review Article Example

Review articles are written to bring together and summarize the results/conclusions from multiple original research articles/studies. They will not usually have a methodology section, and they generally have very extensive bibliographies. Review articles are great for getting an overview of the research that's been done on your topic.


Calorie menu labeling on quick-service restaurant menus: an updated systematic review of the literature.

Overview - Thinking About Articles

While at university, you may be asked to find specific types of scholarly articles.  Use the following chart to think about your article.

  • Is it scholarly?
  • If so, is it an original research article or a literature review?  (These are two possibilities.)
  • If it is an original research article, what method is used?  Is it quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods?
  • For any of these original research articles, identify the population.  What is the sample size?  What are the demographics of the sample?

Chart of Breaking Down a Scholarly Article


Finding Literature Reviews

Finding Literature Reviews in PsycInfo and PsycARTICLES

Enter your search terms. Example
obesity OR "body mass index"
"fast food" OR "convenience food"

Select Record Type - Journal Article
Select Methodology - Literature Review

Finding Literature Reviews in Science Direct

Go to Advanced Search
Enter search terms Example:
obesity OR "body mass index"
"fast food" OR "convenience food"

Review articles in the results list will have "Review Article" next to the title.

Finding Literature Reviews in Google Scholar

Enter search terms AND "review. Example:
obesity OR "body mass index"
"fast food" OR "convenience food"

Highly cited reviews will appear at the top of the list.
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