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CMST 230 Small Group Communication: Reading Scholarly Articles

This guide will assist students in CMST 230 with their research assignments.

Understanding Scholarly Articles

When reading scholarly articles, you may want to pay special attention to certain sections, such as the Introduction or Conclusion. Below you'll find a description of how peer-reviewed articles are organized and what you'll find in each section.

Don't be afraid to "skip" sections of a peer-reviewed article-- for example, you can start out by reading the Introduction and the Conclusion, and then decide the article is a good fit for what you need. (You can always come back to the other sections later.)

Anatomy of a Research Article

The Citation information: Author, Article title, Journal information and Abstract:

Peer Reviewed Article- citation information

In-Text Citations:

If you have a reference that is a small number (like the "3" above), these are "footnotes" or "endnotes."  Look at the bottom of the page or the end of the article for the reference:

footnote example

Essay Conclusion

Peer-reviewed articles in the Humanities are often organized as essays that look deeper into a work or idea. These article will not be broken into sections, but just like the essays you would write for a class, the beginning will have some introduction to the content, and the end will include some conclusions: 


The References:
Academic (scholarly) articles always include a reference list. Citations allow other researchers to find the sources the author used, give credit to other researchers, and show that the article has a solid foundation - which establishes its authority.

Article - reference example