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A research guide for Psychology students.

Parts of a Scientific Article (primary source and empirical)

What Information is in Each Section of the Article?
Abstract: provides a summary of the article.
Introduction: includes background information and a description of the author's purpose.
Materials & Methods: details about how the study was performed with enough detail so that other scientists could repeat the study. 
Results: includes new observations, data and findings, and figures.
Discussion: a description of what the findings mean and their implications; addresses potential criticisms.


Empirical vs. Review Articles

Empirical Articles

Reports of original research, usually results of lab experiments.

Contains the following:

  • Introduction
  • Materials & Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion

Key phrases include:

  • "we tested"
  • "in our study, we measured..."

Literature Review Articles

Critical evaluations of material already published.

Does the following:

  • Defines or clarifies a problem
  • Summarizes previous investigations
  • Identifies problems or gaps in knowledge
  • Suggests the next steps

No physical (lab) research done.