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PSYC 11761 General Psychology with Dr. A Kulics: Identifying Primary Research Articles

How to find the journal article for Dr. Kulics assignment

Identifying Primary Research

Examine the article to confirm that a researcher, or team of researchers, is reporting the results of original, empirical research. It should indicate that the author(s) conducted research, ran surveys, did experiments, collected data, or otherwise gathered information.

IMPORTANT! Not all of the articles appearing in scholarly journals are necessarily primary research articles.  Other types of articles include news stories, research reports, review articles, editorials, letters, and book reviews. 

Parts of a Research Article

A research article has several characteristic parts which may or may not be labeled.

Abstract. The abstract, normally set apart at the beginning of the article, provides a brief summary of the article. 

Introduction/ Statement of the Problem. This section introduces the research problem and its importance. 

Literature Review.  This section reviews other research on the subject and establishes the context for the study.  It may appear as a separate section or be part of the introduction. 

Research methods/ Methodology.The research methods section details how the research was done.  It often also includes information on the participants in the study, how the data was collected and analyzed, and limitations of the study.

Results. The authors report what they found. 

Discussion. Here, the authors discuss what their findings mean and how they relate to other research.  

Conclusion. This section summarizes the significance of their work and may pose questions for further research. 

References.  This section includes all the references to works cited in the body of the article. 

Do You Have the right Article?

Here are some hints to help you find the kind of article the assignment requires: 

  • Use a scholarly source, not a newspaper or magazine. 
  • Look for authors who are experts in their fields reporting on research they did.
  • Look for references and bibliography.

Looking at a Research Article

This video looks at the parts of a research article.