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Empirical & Descriptive Articles

Empirical articles are articles that report research findings from an original study.

Descriptive articles are articles that describe a topic and sometimes have a literature review but do not include a research study. They may use other researcher’s findings to create a new way of looking at an issue.

Empirical Articles:

  • Articles that report research findings from an original study
  • Always contain a “Methods” section
  • Usually discusses a sample
  • Tells the reader how the research was done
  • May contain statistics or words to describe findings
  • Can be found in databases/search engines and academic journals
  • Used for research papers that need to be evidence-based & to learn about new research studies

Descriptive Articles:

  • Use other researcher findings to create a new way of looking at an issue
  • Scholarly
  • May contain statistics from other research
  • May have “literature review”, findings, and/or “conclusions sections
  • Can be found in databases/search engines, Academic Journals, & magazines
  • Use for general information gathering & research papers