The Citation information: Author, Article title, Journal information and Abstract:
Notice that this article includes information about the article's sections (Background, Methodology, Findings, and Conclusions) in the Abstract. Information about when this article was created is also included --notice the peer review process takes some time, in this case from April - July-- and citation information.
If you have a reference that is a number (like the numbers above), these are "footnotes" or "endnotes." Look at the bottom of the page or the end of the article for the reference:
Peer-reviewed articles have different organization depending on their purpose: 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 begining will have some introduction to the content, and the end will include some conclusions:
Peer-reviewed articles that cover experimental research findings or analyze results may be organized differently-- having "Introduction," "Methods / Experimental," "Conclusion / Discussion" and "Reference" sections:
The Introduction section helps explain what studies have come before this research (the "research conversation" and what exactly this article will be looking at.
Methods / Experimental
This is often the largest part of a research article, experiment paper, or analysis, located in the middle of the article. Here the authors will describe what they did for their experiment (or the evidence they analyzed) and how they examined or sorted it:
The 'Results' section details what the authors found in their study.
Discussion and Conclusion:
The Discussion / Conclusion section (articles use both terms) will give some interpretation of the results of the article, including whether more research is needed or if any conclusions or recommendations can be made.
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.
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.)