An empirical research article reports the results of a study that uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation. Empirical research articles are examples of primary research. To learn more about the differences between primary and secondary research, see our related guide:
By the end of this guide, you will be able to:
Look for the IMRaD layout in the article to help identify empirical research. Sometimes the sections will be labeled differently, but the content will be similar.
The screenshots below identify the basic IMRaD structure of an empirical research article.
The introduction contains a literature review and the study's research hypothesis.
The method section outlines the research design, participants, and measures used.
The results section contains statistical data (charts, graphs, tables, etc.) and research participant quotes.
The discussion section includes impacts, limitations, future considerations, and research.
This short video overviews the IMRaD method for identifying empirical research.
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