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Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.

While there is some variation, scholarly articles reporting the results of original research share a similar structure and are often divided into sections, each discussing a particular aspect of the research.

Check out North Carolina State University Libraries' Anatomy of a Scholarly Article  to see the layout of a typical empirical research paper. Click on each colored area to better understand the sections of a scholarly article.


Parts of a Research Study

Abstract - briefly describes study/experiment/research and its main findings to help reader decide whether the study might be relevant

Introduction - describes topic and what the author hopes to learn by conducting the study

Literature review - prior research done and accepted understanding in this field

Methodology - who the study's participants/subjects are; how the study was conducted; and what information was collected

Results - specific and detailed findings from the study; tables and figures for easy viewing of data; statistical analysis

Discussion/Analysis - explains what the study's results mean and how they support the author's conclusions

Conclusion - study's implications; how it fits into the existing body of knowledge; ideas for future research

References - list of sources that author consulted or used for this study; an excellent place to find other useful articles for your own paper!