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COM 105 Basic Newswriting

Use this guide to find information for your feature story.

General Search

Finding Peer-Reviewed/Scholarly Articles

Original research, peer-reviewed articles, research articles...these terms are often used to indicate that you are supposed to find articles that are academic or scholarly. These are written for a specialized audience, not the general reader. Journalists often report on this kind of research, translating the findings for general readers.

TO FIND THESE MATERIALS, it helps to know how to set up your database search to eliminate material for the general reader. See a way to use LIMIT TO in our main page search box, to set your search for the right kind of materials.

  • In Peer-Reviewed Journals
  • Articles Only

BUT BEYOND THIS, you must be able to tell the difference. Look for the following sections of an article, most research articles will contain these. If an article mostly does not contain sections like these, it is not what you're looking for.

Abstract

A summary of the article. (Note: Abstracts appear in reviews or secondary articles as well.)

Methods

Sometimes called "methodology" or "materials and methods," this section describes the author's research methods and tools: experiment, survey, data sources, etc.

Results 

Also called "findings," this is the section of the article in which raw data are presented.

Discussion 

Sometimes called "analysis," this is the section in which the author analyzes the data.

Conclusion

The author's conclusions based on the analysis.

References

List of references to works cited in the article.

These standard parts of a research article may not always be labeled, and sometimes they are combined (for example, "Data and Methods"). Still, every research article indicates what methods and tools were used to conduct the research, what the results were, and how the author interprets those results.

 

 

Other Types of Articles

Not every article in a scholarly journal contains research or analysis. Scholarly journals may also include:

  • Literature reviews - often reviews original research
  • Book reviews
  • Meta-Analysis or systematic reviews - analysis of original research 
  • Editorials or commentaries
  • Letters
  • Speeches and interviews
  • Conference reports

These are not original or primary research articles. 

Other Useful Databases

Use these resources to find articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers...

Use this resource for newspaper articles:

Use this resource for magazine & journal articles:

Other useful library resources:

Higher Education News Sources

Tips

Useful Tips:

  • Look beyond the first 10.  There may be good stuff a way down the list.
  • Research is an iterative process. You search for information, take it in, assess it for whether it covers your topic and meets your needs, then you take what you learned from the first time and search for information again.
  • When you see something good, READ IT—look at the subject terms and abstract and turn those around in a revised search.

FAQ

  • What if I can’t link to full text?
  • See a librarian!  It may be in a different database, available in our paper subscriptions, or available from another library.  We can help you navigate those choices.
  • How do I know which database to try?
  • The ones on the “Top Five” lists are good places to start.  Be sure to see if the drop-down menus might apply to your topic, and choose a database from there.  Or ask a librarian by phone, email or chat

Parkland College Library
2400 West Bradley Avenue
Champaign, IL 61821