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Agriculture

This research guide contains resources for those studying or conducting research in the field of agriculture.

Defining Article Types

Research Articles

"A research article reports the results of original research, assesses its contribution to the body of knowledge in a given area, and is published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal." - Pen & the Pad

The study design of research articles may vary, but in all cases some form of raw data have been collected and analyzed by the author(s).

Review Articles

"A review article, also called a literature review, is a survey of previously published research on a topic. It should give an overview of current thinking on the theme and, unlike an original research article, won’t present new experimental results." - Taylor & Francis Author Services

Review articles provide a comprehensive foundation on a topic, and, as such, they are particularly useful for helping student researchers get an overview of the existing literature on a topic. 

Differences between Research and Review Articles

Research Article Review Article
Follows the scientific method. Follows no set layout.
Provides background information on prior research. Summarizes previously published research.
Conducts an experiment and reports what was found. Discusses what is already known and identifies gaps.
Contains NEW original research data. No original data are presented.
Written for advanced readers, and usually contains a lot of jargon. Written for a general audience.

Anatomy of a Research Article

Title & Abstract

The title of an article is a brief descriptive overview of what was the focus of the study. The abstract is a mini-summary of the study.

Introduction

This section often included an overview of the existing literature on the topic and an explanation of why the author(s) conducted the study. It frequently contains references to previous work on the topic.

Methods

In this section, the authors explain what they did. For example, they may include how they collected or analyzed data.  Descriptions of statistical analysis are also included in this section.

Results

This is where the authors describe the outcomes of their analysis. They don't include interpretation in their area, but instead just use a straightforward explanation of the data. This is the section that usually makes use of charts and graphs.

Discussion

Authors use the discussion section to explain how they interpret their results and situate them in relationship to existing and future research.

References/Works Cited

This is a list of sources the authors drew upon to plan their study, understand their topic, and/or support their discussion.