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Writing 101 (Van Bebber): Article Types

Scholarly or Popular?

Scholarly articles (published in scholarly journals) are reviewed by experts before they are published.

  • Within scholarly journals, you may find different types of articles.  For example, you may be required to find a scholarly article that is an original research article.

Popular articles (published in newspapers, magazines, and other sources) are not reviewed by experts, but may be extensively researched and/or fact-checked, depending on the publication.

popular and scholarly graphic

Primary vs Secondary Sources

Primary Sources

  • Report of scientific discoveries
  • Results of experiments
  • Results of clinical trials
  • Social and polotical science research results
  • Factual, not interpretive

e.g results of a clinical trial to treat ADD by modifying diet

Secondary Sources

  • Analyzes and interprets research results
  • Analyzes and interprets scientific discovers

e.g. book about ways to treat childhood ADD without drugs


Source: Research Help: Primary vs Secondary Sources. Randolph Memorial Library, Borough of Manhattan Community College. http://lib1.bmcc.cuny.edu/help/sources.html

Popular Article Example

Popular articles from credible sources are considered "Serious, not Scholarly". They are published in magazines like Newsweek, Scientific American, Prevention, etc. They can also be found in newspapers and reference sources.

Reducing Rural Suicide

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.

In psychology courses, you are often asked to find empirical articles.  Empirical articles are original research articles.

Bicultural competence, acculturative family distancing, and future depression in Latino/a college students: A moderated mediation model.

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.

Crime and socioeconomic conditions: Evidence for non-cultural domain specificity in evolutionary forensic psychology