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CSD 345 Professional Writing: Types of Scholarly Research

Recognizing Empirical Research

You are being asked to locate and use articles that are "empirical research". Empirical research uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation.

To determine if an article is an empirical research article, use these guidelines (from USF's guide listed below):

  • What is the name of the journal? Popular magazines like Newsweek or Time don’t publish empirical research articles; publications like the Journal of Educational Research or the Journal of Educational Psychology do.
  • How long is the article? An empirical research article is usually substantial, not 1 or 2 pages.
  • Does the article contain references to other works? Serious researchers always cite their sources.
  • Does the abstract of the article contain variations of the words study, measure, subjects, data, survey, or statistical to describe the empirical research?

Here are some resources that explain what empirical research is.  

Article Types

Empirical Article: Research articles describe and document research conducted by the author(s). Empirical studies are based on data derived from observation or experimentation. Research articles usually comprise an abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, list of references and appendices.

Literature Review: An article in which the authors present the findings of other scholars studies. A literature review identifies major scholars and studies in a particular research area, summarizes current findings and provides a robust bibliography.