Answered By: Neal Smith
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2015     Views: 14

The primary purpose of a research article is to present original findings based on some sort of scientific study. Research articles generally follow a standard format, so you can often identify a research article based on its section. Look for the following elements: Introduction, Research design, Discussion of data & methods, and Results. These elements are clues that the article is a research article.

Research articles do not always contain the standard elements, and non-research articles may have some of the elements. While looking at the sections of the article is a good way to quickly check for a research article, the surest way to know if you have found a research article is to read the article and determine whether or not the authors are reporting on their own original research. This can include a clinical trial, an overview of an experiment, or a literature review (where the research was to find other research articles on a topic), but does not include opinion pieces, case studies, or best practices.

Remember, you always clarify with your professor if it is unclear what he or she wants.

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