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Writing 100 (Lanser)

Advanced Writing

Scholarly Articles

original (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)

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.

systematic review

a form of literature review that comprehensively identifies, appraises, and synthesizes all relevant research on a specifically formulated question.

meta analysis

combines carefully selected data from previous empirical studies to bring more rigor to a statistical or other analysis.

Similarities & Differences

Both original (empirical) articles and literature reviews are useful. One is not better than the other.

Both are:

  • published in journals
  • often peer-reviewed
  • written by experts in the field

They are different in one important way.

  • Original articles report the findings of one research study the authors conducted themselves.
  • Review articles report on the findings of a variety of research studies that others conducted.

In your case, you are writing a literature review, so you will need to find original articles. However, there may be a literature review related to your topic that could be helpful to point you to the original (empirical) articles.

Types of Scholarly Articles

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