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READING AND WORKING WITH CITATIONS:
This tutorial will teach you to understand parts of a citation, interpret bibliographies and use bibliographies as a source of further information. Click HERE to complete the tutorial.
There are several different sections of reports of empirical studies relating to the different steps of the scientific method.
Abstract: A report of an empirical study includes an abstract that provides a very brief summary of the research.
Introduction: The introduction sets the research in a context, which provides a review of related research and develops the hypotheses for the research.
Method: The method section is a description of how the research was conducted, including who the participants were, the design of the study, what the participants did, and what measures were used.
Results: The results section describes the outcomes of the measures of the study.
Discussion: The discussion section contains the interpretations and implications of the study.
General Discussion: There may be more than one study in the report; in this case, there are usually separate Methods and Results sections for each study followed by a general discussion that ties all the research together.
References: A references section contains information about the articles and books cited in the report.
Language: If an article is empirical, it will include terms such as: measurement, reports, research statistics, etc. Here are some ideas for search terms that can be used to locate empirical research studies:
empirical findings reports research “participant observation” selection criteria double-blind
quantitative qualitative interview feasibility “natural experiment” sample/sampling prospective
open-ended case study pilot project evaluation “content analysis” statistics data randomized
reproducibility evaluation results method/ology instrument measurement validity reliability
experiment population research design cross section survey analytic longitudinal
Length of Article: Empirical research articles are usually substantial (more than 1 or 2 pages) and include a bibliography or cited references section (usually at the end of the article).
Type of Publication: Empirical research articles are published in scholarly or academic journals. These publications are sometimes referred to as “peer-reviewed,” “academic” or “refereed” publications. Examples of such publications include: American Journal of Education, American Journal of Distance Education,Education Journal, and Education Quarterly Review.