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McNair Scholars: 10. Scholarly Journal Article Analysis

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Watch this video to learn about the structure of scholarly articles. Knowing this structure will help you to quickly find the type of information you want to read about.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article video from NCSU Library

The video was created by the staff of the D. H. Hill Jr. Library at NCSU and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License.

Components of a Scientific Paper

The "IMRAD" (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) format of scientific research papers is widely-accepted, though there are variations within each discipline. This list adds a few additional sections that are typically found in scientific research papers.

  • Title - Succinctly describes the topic of the paper and includes appropriate terminology to help readers retrieve the paper and understand its contents.
  • Abstract - In paragraph format, this summarizes the main ideas, methods, results, and conclusions of the paper.
  • Introduction - The purpose of the paper is clearly stated, along with background information on the topic and a summary of research that is relevant to the topic.
  • Methods - Explains the type of scientific methods or procedures that were used in the research.
  • Results - The data collected in the study are presented here in text, charts and graphs.
  • Discussion/Conclusion - This section contains the analysis and discussion of the data presented in the results and draws conclusions based on the data.
  • Acknowledgements - Any person or organization who helped with the study through funding or other support is mentioned here.
  • References - All the sources used in the paper are cited in the style that is appropriate to the discipline.

How to Read Scientific Articles

Watch this video from the Univ. of Minnesota Libraries for tips on reading scientific articles effectively.

Article Analysis Takeaways

Article Assignments

  1. Holt-Lunstad, J., Birmingham, W. & Light, K. C. (2011). The influence of depressive symptomatology and perceived stress on plasma and salivary oxytocin before, during and after a support enhancement intervention. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36(8), 1249-1256. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.03.007
  2. Huang, K.-L., Liu, T.-Y., Huang, Y.-C., Leong, C.-P., Lin, W.-C., & Pong, Y.-P. (2014). Functional outcome in acute stroke patients with oropharyngeal Dysphagia after swallowing therapy. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: The Official Journal of National Stroke Association, 23(10), 2547-2553. https://doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2014.05.031
  3. Jiang, L., Kondo, A., Shigeta, M., Endoh, S., Uejima, M., Ogura, I., & Naito, M. (2014). Evaluation of particles released from single-wall carbon nanotube/polymer composites with or without thermal aging by an accelerated abrasion test. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 11(10), 658-664. https://doi:10.1080/15459624.2014.902953
  4. Lalander, C. H., Hill, G. B., & Vinnerås, B. (2013). Hygienic quality of faeces treated in urine diverting vermicomposting toilets. Waste Management (New York, N.Y.), 33(11), 2204-2210. https://doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2013.07.007
  5. Mularski, A., Wilksch, J. J., Hanssen, E., Strugnell, R. A., & Separovic, F. (2016). Atomic force microscopy of bacteria reveals the mechanobiology of pore forming peptide action. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta, 1858(6), 1091-1098. https://doi:10.1016/j.bbamem.2016.03.002
  6. Pavlova, E. V., Kirilyuk, V. E., & Naidenko, S. V. (2015). Patterns of seroprevalence of feline viruses among domestic cats (Felis catus) and Pallas' cats (Otocolobus manul) in Daursky Reserve, Russia. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 93(11), 849-855. https://doi:10.1139/cjz-2015-0006
  7. Peters, E., Fennema, M. ., & Tiede, K. E. (2019). The lossā€bet paradox: Actuaries, accountants, and other numerate people rate numerically inferior gambles as superior. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 32(1), 15–29. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.2085 
  8. Priya, R., Khan, M., Rao, M. K., & Parida, M. (2014). Cloning, expression and evaluation of diagnostic potential of recombinant capsid protein based IgM ELISA for chikungunya virus. Journal of Virological Methods, 203, 15-22. https://doi:10.1016/j.jviromet.2014.03.005
  9. Trinkner, R., Mays, R. D., Cohn, E. S., Van Gundy, K. T., & Rebellon, C. J. (2019). Turning the corner on procedural justice theory: exploring reverse causality with an experimental vignette in a longitudinal survey. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 15(4), 661–671. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-019-09358-1  Journal of Experimental Criminology, 15(4), 551-571. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-019-09358-1