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Anatomy of a Sociology Article

Parts of a Research Article

Research articles tend to have 6 or 7 parts, each part is normally labeled.


Abstract This first part of the article, normally at the top and set apart from the rest of the article. The abstract describes what the article is about. 
Introduction The first part of the actual text, it explains why the researchers selected the topic to study and why it is important.
Literature Review  In this section the authors discuss research that is important to their study, this section can be long or short. Sometimes the introduction and literature review sections are combined.
Methods/ Data Analysis The methods portion of the article explains how the researchers actually conducted the research. Often it will include information on the participants and data collection methods used. They will also explain how the data was analyzed. This section may also include limitations of the research.
Results This is where the authors tell you what they found.
Discussion Here the authors discuss how their findings (results) tie back into the other research done in the field and why what they found is important. They may also give ideas for further research.
References This sections includes all the references to items cited within the body of the article.


Types of Research & Studies

Empirical Research Based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
Case Studies In-depth studies of a particular situation. 
Interviews Researchers to learn detailed information from individuals. 
Surveys Use of questionnaires and/or statistical surveys to gather data about people, their thoughts and their behaviors.
Focus Groups Form of qualitative research in which people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, etc., in an interactive group setting.  
Cost Benefit Analysis Process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs. The analysis finds, quantifies, and adds all positive factors, and then identifies, quantifies, and subtracts all negatives (the costs). The difference indicates advisability.

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