There are many types of background materials: encyclopedias (both general and subject specific), handbooks, and dictionaries. Why use a background source? It can save you time by helping you with the groundwork.
Get an overview of a new or complex topic
Find out the namesof key players in a given area
Locatetermsthat you can use in your research
Help narrow(or expand) your topic
Locate a bibliography of sources to help you start your research.
If there is an option, select Peer-Reviewed or Scholarly Journal or Academic Journal
Type your keywords\key concepts in the search box
In the results list, look for PDF or full text links to the article title
Click on the link to access the full article
Annual Review of Psychology
Perspectives on Psychological Science
Journal of Applied Psychology
Applied Psychological Measurement
Journal of Neuroscience Psychology
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Evolution and Human Behavior
Child and Adolescent Psychology
Journal of Child Psychology
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Journal of Research of Adolescence
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology
Clinical Child and Family Psychology
Cognition and Perception
Journal of Memory and Language
Cognition and Emotion
Psychomusicology: music, mind and the brain
The Career Development Quarterly
Journal of Counseling Psychology
Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Psychology/General & Interdisciplinary
Annual Review of Psychology
American Journal of Psychology
Review of General Psychology
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Psychology of Violence
Journal of Social Issues
Social and Personality Psychology
Original Research Articles
Psychological articles and many papers in the social sciences follow the writing guidelines and format dictated by the American Psychological Association (APA). In general, the structure follows: abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and references.
A summary of the article. (Note: Abstracts appear in reviews or secondary articles as well.)
This section provides background information about the origin and purpose of the performing the experiment or study. It reviews previous research and presents existing theories on the topic.
Sometimes called "methodology" or "materials and methods," this section describes the author's research methods and tools: experiment, survey, data sources, etc.
Also called "findings," this is the section of the article in which raw data are presented.
Sometimes called "analysis," this is the section in which the author analyzes the data.
The author's conclusions based on the analysis.
List of references to works cited in the article.
These standard parts of a research article may not always be labeled, and sometimes they are combined (for example, "Data and Methods"). Still, every research article indicates what methods and tools were used to conduct the research, what the results were, and how the author interprets those results.
Other Types of Articles
Not every article in a scholarly journal contains research or analysis. Scholarly journals may also include:
Literature reviews - often reviews original research
Meta-Analysis or systematic reviews - analysis of original research
Editorials or commentaries
Speeches and interviews
These are not original or primary research articles.