Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Writing 116 (McIntire): Types of Articles

Overview

Scholarly journals contain more than one type of article. In one issue of a journal, you may find original research articles, review articles, letters to the editor, reviews of books and other materials, and more. When you are browsing articles in databases, online, 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?

Journal example: Nature

2 Types of Scholarly Articles

scholarly articles

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

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

  1. What do peer reviewers do?  How are they similar to or different from editors?
  2. Who are the primary customers of scholarly journals?
  3. Do databases only include peer-reviewed articles?  How do you know?

Original Research Article Example

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.

A deficit in the ability to form new human memories without sleep

Review Article Example

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.

The relationships between memory systems and sleep stages