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Family Life Education Methodology: Understanding Research Articles

How do I know it is a research article?

Many professors will tell you that you need to use research articles. Here are some tips to make sure what you found is a research article:

1. Make sure it is from a scholarly source: The article should be in a scholarly journal, not a newspaper or magazine. Many databases allow you to search by scholarly journal.

2. Look at the authors: The authors should be experts in the field. They are normally professors or researchers in their field.

3. Contains actual research: The articles should explain in detail the research that was conducted and the results of that research. Be careful, review articles are also scholarly but they are not research. Review articles evaluate research that has already been published.

4. Look at the abstract: The abstract contains clues that can help you. Look for words like research study, participants, results, etc. Sometimes the abstract will tell you what the research found.

5. Article format: Research articles normally are divided into multiple sections (see below for more information).