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CD 4498 (Hodge) - Advanced Child and Family Development: Parts of a Scholarly Article

LibGuide for Child Development 4498

Identifying Scholarly Journal Articles

The library's databases have built-in options and features that will assist you in limiting your research to scholarly journal articles, but being able to recognize what you are looking at is very useful.  A scholarly journal article will have:

  • An abstract, a summary of the article.
  • An introduction that describes what was studied and why it was studied.  The hypothesis that was tested.  Also, details of the methodology used--how the topic was studied according to scientific methods.
  • Results, which may include data.
  • Conclusions, which may be drawn from the results.  May also be labeled as discussion or significance.
  • Bibliography or list of references, usually quite lengthy, with complete citations to everything the authors read before conducting their study.

AIMRAD Structure

Many scholarly articles follow a similar general structure. Another common way to organize articles is through the AIMRAD format. That is, Abstract, Introduction, Methods Used, Results, Analysis, and Discussion. 

Per the Florida Atlantic University:


  • A summary of the research, its methods and findings
  • The study's hypothesis or research questions
  • The main points of a study can be found here


  • Background information on the study's topic of focus
  • A summary of the current state of knowledge on the topic when it was studied
  • Problems or gaps in the research may be introduces, which the study attempts to address


  • The paradigm or study design, and rationale for use
  • Description of the population, people, or samples used
  • Instrumentation and measurements used


  • A summation of the information or data collected


  • A statistical analysis of the study and its findings, including types of statistics used
  • May include many charts or tables of the analysis


  • Shortcomings of the study
  • Conclusions of the findings
  • Gaps in knowledge identified or recommendations for further study


Following the body of the article, you will have the References section. For further information on how to cite your references in APA citation style, please see the link on APA citation to the right. 

Parts of a Scholarly Article

APA Citation Resources