A research article reports on a specific, original research project or experiment. When a group of scientists comes up with a research question, forms hypotheses, performs experiments, and analyzes the results in order to answer the original research question, they write a research article describing this whole process to other scientists.
Research articles feature some variation of the following sections:
Research Articles are written after experiments are done!
Learn more about writing each of these sections on the next page of this guide.
Reviews are different than research articles because they do NOT report on one single research study conducted by the authors. Instead, a review is a report in which the authors read, summarize, and synthesize the majority of the research studies that have been completed in a certain field of study. Some of the elements of a review include:
Review articles are written after you have read through the literature on a topic!
Reviews are important to scientists because they are one of the main ways that they keep up with what is going on in their field of study or a related field if they are interested in performing interdisciplinary research. They allow the scientist to read one article and learn about many, many research studies all at once.
Get started writing your own in the "Writing a Review" tab on the "Writing in the Sciences" dropdown menu.
Here is an example of what a review article looks like (click here to read the full article):
Notice that it says "review" at the top, so you know right away that this is not an article presenting original research.
On this page, learn more about two types of scientific articles: the research article and the review. There are some important distinctions between the two and understanding these will leave you prepared to write your own!
Look at the overview of each type below to become familiar with them. When you're ready to write, use the dropdown menu on the scientific writing tab to navigate to either the "Writing a Research Article" or "Writing a Review" page for a detailed description of how to write each type of literature.