The following information lists and defines the elements that are typically included in research articles. However, some disciplines may combine various elements, such as the Abstract and Introduction, or include the Methodology component in the Introduction section.
How to Read a Research Study Article
Sections of the Research Study Article:
A research study article contains the following sections.
If you don’t find these sections in a journal article, then you don’t have a research study article.
Contains brief overview of the article and the key points of the study. Reading the abstract is an effective way of determining the article’s relevance to your topic.
Contains the hypothesis or the problem the study addresses as well as the pertinent literature review. Reading the introduction should give you the context of the problem and the prior relevant research.
Contains detailed information about the research conducted including the participants, the procedures, the instruments, some history and background of the instruments chosen, and the variables.
Contains the summation of data including the relationships among variables, the methodology for statistical analysis, the P value (construct for significance, .05 or .01), the N (sample size), and how the results relate to the hypothesis or problem stated in the introduction. Comparisons may be included to clarify findings or to explore unanticipated findings.
Contains a summation of the results in narrative form. This section usually relates the results of the study to prior study results and gives suggestions for the direction further study on the topic might take.
Contains a listing of the sources cited in the article such as books and articles, as well as sources not directly cited but used as prior reading.
Criteria for the Evaluation of Educational Research
Statement of the Problem or Hypothesis - Introduction:
Review of Literature - Introduction:
Data Analysis - Result:
Hall, B. W., Ward, A. W., & Comer, C. B. (1988). Published Educational Research: An Empirical Study of Its Quality. Journal Of Educational Research, 81(3).