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Research Methodologies

A guide introducing various research methodologies


All journal articles are the same. Right?  Well, not quite.  After deciding whether a journal article is considered scholarly or peer-reivewed, there is another layer of journal types that must be considered. 

Many journal articles publish the results of research conducted by the author(s).  These researched articles, sometimes called empirical research, often follow a specific template for how the research results are reported.  Many methods are used to conduct research.  These methods fall under the categories of Qualitative and QuantitativeMixed Methods refers to research which uses more than one research type and may incoporate both qualitative and quantitatve research methods.  This guide provides an overview of various empirical research methods, search tips for finding articles which use a spsecific method, and questions to help you begin to analyze these researched articles.

So What's Empirical Research?

“The term empirical research refers to making planned observations.  By following careful plans for making observations, we engage in a systematic, thoughtful process that deserves to be called research.”   

Empirical research starts with a plan for what, whom, how, and when to observe and how to analyze and interpret the resulting data.

Mildred L.Patten, Proposing Empirical Research: A Guide to the Fundamentals, 3rd ed.(Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing, 2005), 3.

Scholarly or Popular?

This video will help refresh your understanding of the difference between scholarly and popular articles.