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Scholarly Articles

This guide describes what scholarly articles are and provides advice on finding, reading, and evaluating them.

Scholarly Article Sections

The articles themselves often include the following sections- but not always! The names may change based on the journal and/or the discipline you are researching in. In the sciences, for example, you will likely find a Methods and Results section. In the humanities, scholarly research might look more like analyzing a poem through a specific critical theory, and it will read more like a long discussion using poem quotes as the evidence.

Abstract

A summary of the article. It will include major findings.

Introduction

Provides context for the research. Sometimes includes a literature review.

Literature Review

Also provides context for the current research by reviewing existing studies and literature on the same topic. Sometimes included in the introduction section.

Methods

Explanation of the study design or methodology used to create this research.

Results

Sometimes called "Findings," this section includes the data the researchers found.

Discussion

Often includes discussion of the findings (what was significant and why, what needs clarification with future studies). Often includes limitations of the research.

Conclusion

Sometimes part of the discussion, the conclusion often calls for future research in the area.

References

Works cited by the authors throughout the paper are listed in a consistent format at the end.

Miscellaneous

Sometimes you'll see Acknowledgements, Conflict of Interest statements, Funding source information, and more. It's important to look through these areas too!