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Math 1635: Hill: Types of Scholarly Research

What is Scholarly Research?

Getting started: 

Scholarly? Peer reviewed? Research articles?  Your professor may use any or all of these words to describe a type of sources that you'll need to use for your academic work.  But when you're asked to find scholarly articles, what do professors really mean? 

Learn more about the process of peer review by watching the 3 minute video from  North Carolina State University below:

Types of Scholarly Research

Scholarly research articles in different subjects ask different types of questions and have different structures: 

Arts and Humanities research articles

These articles focus on ideas, themes, that are often based in texts.   Often, the articles can be similar to the structure of an essay: they begin with a review of scholarship on a specific topic, states a hypothesis, and supports that hypothesis with evidence from primary sources as well as secondary sources.    See an example below: 

Qualitative Research

These articles focus on lived human experience. Information can be collected from interviews, focus groups, or other sources.  Qualitative reseachers ask open-ended questions and try to answer questions that are how and why based (rather than correlations, how many, or what).  These articles are often created by social scientists.   These articles may have a similar structure to quantitative research articles (see below), or may use headings focused on research themes. You can find more information about qualitative research in this essay published by Tenny, Brannan, and Brannan on the National Library of Medicine site

Curious to see an example qualitative article? Look below: 

Quantitative Research

These articles focus on questions that are answered through Scientific Research articles (which will often propose a hypothesis, design an experiment, and gather data that either supports or disproves the hypothesis) are often quantitative articles. Take a look at the example below: 

Mixed Methods

These studies combine quantitative and qualitative approaches-- often times, for example, a researcher will do a survey and then follow up with interviews or focus groups to tease out unanswered questions.  These articles will often have the traditional IMRD structure. See the example below: 

Review articles

These are massive summary articles that are popular in the sciences and health sciences.  Generally, researchers will try to summarize the current scholarship published on a topic.  This might involve looking at tens or hundreds of articles to capture themes:  for example, scientists might ask what we know about the impact of climate change on the ocean? They would also address what questions remain unanswered, and suggest future research.  Review articles may not follow the traditional quantitative article structure. 

Quantitative Article Structure

Let's take a specific look at the structure of a quantitative research study:

Want to know more?  Look at the following guides for more information: 

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