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Child Development: Reading Scholarly Journal Articles

Scholarly Journal Articles in the Sciences & Social Sciences

Scientific research articles include original studies and review articles that contribute to the current scholarship on a given topic. 

The table below describes the components of scholarly articles in the Social Sciences and Physical Sciences. The majority of articles in these disciplines will have the sections listed below.

Abstract Brief summary of the article, including research question, methodology and results.
Introduction Background information about the topic, leading up to why this study is being done, and may include a brief literature review.
Methods Description of how the study procedures, set-up and how data was collected.
Results/Findings Presentation of the data from the study. This section often includes tables, charts, or other visualizations of the data.
Discussion Analysis of the data and how the study relates to existing knowledge of the topic. The authors evaluate whether their results answer their research question. 
Conclusion The authors wrap up the article by discussion how their study contributes to the research on this topic and outline future  potential research questions or studies. 
References List of resources that the authors consulted when developing their research and subsequently cited in their article.

Reading a Scholarly Journal Article

How to read a scholarly research article

Reading a Scholarly Journal Article is by Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Fitchburg State University

Journal Example

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article: Interactive Tutorial

Reading Social Sciences Research Articles

This video will give you strategies for reading social science articles effectively (Utah State University Libraries, 2:54).