Skip to Main Content

WRD 111 : Composition & Communication II

Second course in a two-course sequence designed to engage students in composing and communicating ideas using speech, writing and visuals. Fall 2023.

Scholarly/Peer Review

Learn how to identify the characteristics of scholarly articles in Introduction to Scholarly Articles in this six minute tutorial.

scholarly articles tutorial logo

How to Read a Scholarly Article

Two minute video on how to skim the key parts of a scholarly article to determine if it is relevant for your assignment.

Used with permission of Western University under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US)

Evaluate Your Sources

Knowing how to find relevant, reliable, and accurate information can help you create better research assignments. These same skills will help you make informed decisions about real world questions, too, such as buying a car or evaluating financial aid options. Use the criteria below (also known as the CRAAP Test) to help you evaluate the information you find. 

CurrencyThe timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Is there information in the source that is strongly related to your topic?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author?  Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • What makes this person knowledgeable on this topic?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Are sources documented with footnotes or bibliography?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you find some of the same information given elsewhere?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • The purpose, intent and audience should be clearly stated.
  • Are arguments supported by facts? Are other viewpoints recognized?
  • There should be no broad generalizations that are not supported by evidence.

Adapted from  Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Scholarly articles in the sciences follow a particular format. You may not always see every part labeled, but the content will include the following:

ABSTRACT – a summary of the article

INTRODUCTION – a brief explanation of the research topic and why this particular research was performed.

MATERIALS and METHODS – How the research was performed

RESULTS – The results of the research. An explanation of what happened.

DISCUSSION or CONCLUSION – What do the results mean?  What is significant or important of them?  What was learned?

REFERENCES – The research of others that was consulted in the writing of this article.

Below is an example article with each of the above elements labeled.