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What Kind of Article Do I Need?: Introduction

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You may be wondering about the kind of article you need to support your research for an assignment. This guide can help!

Read below for an explanation of research versus non-research articles, and use the tabs at the top of this guide to learn more about the different types of articles that fall within those categories, as well as how to find them in the library and on the web.

If you have questions or need assistance finding articles in the library to support your research, feel free to contact a librarian using the chat box located on the right side of each page in this guide.

What Is a Research Article?


Research articles should include a hypothesis, a proposed question. Does the article propose an assumption to be tested? Remember the scientific method.

  1.  Research articles should include a methods section, a description of the subjects, procedures, and tools used. Does the article describe the process of testing the research question?  It should explain who, what, when, where and how the research was conducted.
  2. Research articles should include findings and an explanation of conclusions. Does the article explain what was found after the study?   
  3. Research articles should include suggested further research. Does the article give an analysis of the implications from the findings?
  4. Research articles should be peer-reviewed. This is a standard preference of most professors. Research articles should be from a peer-reviewed journal. See the Different Types of Articles tab in this guide for more information about peer-reviewed articles and how to find them in the library.

Examples of Research Articles:  Peer-reviewed articles


  1. Research should not be an opinion-based document.  
  2. Research articles should not be newspaper articles. Did you find the article in a newspaper or magazine?  
  3. Research articles should not be editorials. Is the article from the author's opinion? 
  4. Research articles should not be book or test reviews. Is it an evaluation of a book or measurement tool?    
  5. Research articles should not be columns giving advice. Can you summarize your article with a statement beginning with "how to"?

Examples of Non-Research Articles:  News and magazine articles, editorials, book reviews, test reviews, advice columns


(Source: University of South Alabama Online Learning Lab: Research vs. Non-Research Articles)

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