Types of Research Articles

There are many types of research articles that are published in scholarly journals. Journal articles include scientific studies, literature reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, and methodological articles.

The purpose of writing these articles is to:

  1. advance the knowledge in a particular subject area;
  2. to publish articles that can be used for later research; and
  3. to answer a question that is not yet solved.

Research begins from curiosity and every human being performs some kind of research in their life. The kind of research we do in our day-to-day we share it with our friends and family. The research that scholars do they share it with peers in their field of study. Once they get peer approval they publish their research article in a journal.

Types of research articles

Empirical studies

An empirical study is an actual research that is conducted by observation and measurement of a phenomenon, event, or situation. Empirical studies test a real hypotheses and address an issue that has not solved yet. There is a specific research question in the empirical studies that needs to be answered.

Empirical studies begin with an introduction of the problem. The introduction is like a review of the development historically. It gives the readers an idea about the current knowledge of the topic.

Methods section follows the introduction and the purpose of methods is to provide details of how the current research will take place. The methods section provides information about the population, sampling, data collection techniques, data evaluation techniques and statistical analysis.The methods section is precise but concise. The precision of methods section helps any other researcher recreate the same study.

Results show the data in tabulated or graphical form. In some studies both tabulation and graphical data representation is necessary. Results let the readers know about the outcomes of the research.

Discussion of the results allow the reader get to know the analysis of the results. This analysis is based on the current data results and is supported by previous studies.

In short, empirical studies test hypothesis in a scientific manner and prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Literature reviews

literature reviews, including research syntheses and meta analyses, are critical evaluation of data that has already been published. Authors of literature reviews consider the progress of research towards clarifying a problem.

The purpose of the literature review studies can be to define and clarify the problem. For this purpose the researcher collects different studies that have been conducted on the topic under consideration.

Sometimes literature review is done to summarize previous studies. This summarizing helps other researchers get to know about the topic in depth.

Literature review can also help in identifying the contradictions, gaps, inconsistencies in studies conducted on any one topic. This will also help the other researchers understand what lakes in the current knowledge of a particular area. This type of literature review can help the researchers conduct new studies in a new manner.  Literature review helps suggest the next step in solving the problem.

Case studies

A case study studies an individual, event, situation, or phenomenon in a real life situation. The researcher presents a problem and suggest ways to solve it. It is an in-depth study and uses empirical techniques to explore a problem. As case studies are conducted on a real life problem so the privacy of case studies should be maintained.

Theoretical articles

Theoretical articles draw on existing research literature to advance theory, trace the development of theory to analyze it or to present a new theory. Theoretical study is sometimes undertaken to present flaws in theory and find the inconsistencies.

Methodological articles

Methodological articles present  new methodological techniques, modifications of existing methods, and development of new techniques to conduct research.


  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Ed., Pp- 9-11 Washington D.C. 2017




Check Also

rigor in research

Rigor in a Research

Rigor in a research means quality control, there is no science without rigor. You need …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Answer *