Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Title: Title of the research should be direct and on should create a curiosity of reading. It should be descriptive yet straight forward conveying the motive of the article. Title of the scientific research journals should be relevant and must include the keywords. 

Abstract: Abstract is the kind of index of the research paper. If you want to know about the area of content or point which are included in the research. It includes the summary of the author(s)’s research findings and what exactly you can expect when you read the full article. Reading the abstract of the scientific research journals first beforehand can be a good idea.  It helps you to determine if the whole article is what you were looking for. 

Discussion and Conclusion: It’s important to read these after the Abstract (even though they come at the end of the article). The discussions and conclusions can help you in knowing about the research needs and if those are being fulfilled. 

Introduction: Introduction is the small description of what the research will be about. This describes the topic or problem researched. The authors will present the thesis of their argument or the goal of their research. 

Literature Review: The review is as important as the introduction which will help to tell the overview of the research journal. It may be included in the introduction or as its own separate section. In this review, you see where the author(s) enter the conversation on this topic. That is to say, what related research has come before, and how do they hope to advance the discussion with their current research?

Methods: Methods are important to include in the scientific research journals. This section explains how the study worked. In this section, you will see the right methods and the participation. You will need to think critically about the methods and whether or not they make sense given the research question.

Results: Numbers and tables are included for better understanding and clear view. If you aren’t an expert at statistics this section may be difficult to grasp. However you should attempt to understand if the results seem reasonable given the methods.

Works Cited (also be called References or Bibliography): Citation is important if you are using someone else work. This section comprises the author(s)’s sources. Always be sure to see what citation are included. Good research usually cites many different kinds of sources (books, journal articles, etc.). As you read the Works Cited page, be sure to look for sources that look like they will help you to answer your own research question.


PURPOSE: The purpose of research journals communicates the results of research in the field of study covered by the journal. Research articles reflect a systematic and thorough study of a single topic. It often involves experiments or surveys. Research journals may also publish review articles and book reviews that summarize the current state of knowledge on a topic. 

APPEARANCE: These articles are published in the popular magazines. Research journals lack the slick advertising, classified ads, coupons, etc., found in popular magazines. Articles are often printed in one column of a page, as in books.  These appearance include graphs, tables, or charts referring to specific points in the articles.

AUTHORITY: Research articles are written by the person(s) who did the research being reported. When more than two authors are listed for a single article, the first author listed is often the primary researcher who coordinated or supervised the work done by the other authors. The most highly-regarded scholarly journals are typically those sponsored by professional associations, such as the American Psychological Association or the American Chemical Society.

VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY: Articles submitted to research journals are evaluated by an editorial board and other experts before they are accepted for publication. Validity and reliability is needed to maintain market standards. This evaluation is called peer review and is designed to ensure that the articles published are based on solid research that meets the normal standards of the field of study covered by the journal. Professors sometimes use the term “refereed” to describe peer-reviewed journals.

WRITING STYLE: Basic style and pattern must be followed. Articles in research journals usually contain an advanced vocabulary, since the authors use the technical language or jargon of their field of study. The authors assume that the reader already possesses a basic understanding of the field of study. 

REFERENCES: References should be included to give credits for the scientific research journals. The authors of research articles always indicate the sources of their information. These references are usually listed at the end of an article, and is build on previous research. They may appear in the form of footnotes, endnotes, or a bibliography.

TIP: When possible, keep your research questions in mind when reading scholarly articles. It will help you to focus your reading.