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Energy, Manufacturing, and Trades Management

This research guide is designed to help Bachelor of Applied Science students complete information research tasks.

Types of Articles

There are two main types of articles you'll come across in the databases: literature reviews and empirical studies. Both may be scholarly, peer-reviewed sources, but empirical studies are primary sources that report on the results of a study.

Literature Review vs Empirical Study

Literature Review

Empirical Study
Evaluates or condenses previously-published material. Reports on new, original research.

Look for:

  • Summarizing previously-published content.
  • Defining or clarifying an issue.
  • Identifying and explaining a problem.
  • Suggesting next steps of future research.


View example below.

Look for:

  • Abstract
  • Methodology
    • Participants/Subjects, Instruments, etc may be mentioned.
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

View example below.



Literature Review: this article was peer-reviewed, but it is a literature review. Notice that the subheadings used describe the topic of those sections rather than a portion of the experimental process. 

Sample first 2 pages of a literature review published in a journal

Newberg, A. B. (2011). Spirituality and the aging brain. Generations, 35(2), 83-91. [See the full article.]

Empirical Study: This peer-reviewed study clearly lists (in the abstract and throughout the paper) the intentions of the study, the methods, the results, and the conclusions.

Not pictured here: even though this is a report of original research, the authors still had a length list of References that used to support their research, just as a literature review would include a lengthy list of papers. Scholarship is a conversation!

Sample of 2 pages of an empirical study

Semiz, U. M., Basoglu, C., Ebrinc, S., & Cetin, M. (2008). Nightmare disorder, dream anxiety, and subjective sleep quality in patients with borderline personality disorder. Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, 62(1), 48-55. [See the full article.]