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Writing 101 (Danielson): Scholarly Articles

Writing in the Disciplines: Psychology

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries, 3:15

Questions to Consider

  • What do peer reviewers do? How are they similar to or different from editors?
  • Do databases only include peer-reviewed articles? How do you know?

Types of Scholarly Articles

VCU Libraries (3:25)

Questions to Consider

  • Which types of scholarly articles are based on experiments or surveys?
  • Which types of scholarly articles evaluate original research studies?

Deflnitions of Scholarly Articles

original research (empirical) article

based on an experiment or study. This type of article 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. In psychology courses, you are often asked to find empirical articles. Empirical articles are original research articles

review article (literature review or systematic review)

written to bring together and summarize the results/conclusions from multiple original research articles/studies. This types of article will not usually have a methodology section, and they generally have very extensive bibliographies.

theoretical article

written to contribute to the theoretical foundations of a field of study. In this type of article, an author will draw upon existing research to form a new theory or explore theories in new ways.

book review

while written by scholars, book reviews in scholarly journals are meant to provide a summary of a newly published book. Book reviews can lead to the discovery of new sources to investigate.


while written by editors of scholarly journals, these articles are summaries of content included in a specific issue of a journal. Editorials can lead to the discovery of new sources to investigate.


  • You will be working in your research groups for this exercise.
  • Take a look at both Article C & Article D.
  • Decide which article is the review article and which article is the original research (empirical) article.
  • Have one person in your group take the polls below.
  • Have another person in your group be prepared to share the 2-3 characteristics that helped your group decide on the answers.
Which is the review article?
Article C: 11 votes (100%)
Article D: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 11
Which is the original research (empirical) article?
Article C: 0 votes (0%)
Article D: 11 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 11