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PSY 203/204 Research Methods & Statistics: Reading peer-reviewed articles

A scholarly article featuring original research is typically contains these parts:



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A summary of the article including the study’s key points.  Reading this can help you decide if an article is relevant to your research.


Typically includes a literature review which is a critical summary of what the scholarly literature says about a specific topic or question.   It also covers why the topic is important and what the problem is that the study focuses on.


Contains what the author(s) did to try to solve the problem covered in the introduction.  Gives detailed information on the research including participants, procedures, instruments, variables.  Typically address how the results relate to the hypothesis or problem stated in the introduction


Covers what the authors found, a summation of data and an analysis.  There are often tables and/or figures providing statistics. 


What the authors think their findings mean, a narrative summary of the results.  It may relate the results to previous studies, address study limitations, and give suggestions for future studies on the topic.


List of sources cited in the article such as books and peer-reviewed articles.