As a student at the University of La Verne, faculty may instruct you to read and analyze empirical articles when writing a research paper, a senior or master's project, or a doctoral dissertation. How can you recognize an empirical article in an academic discipline? An empirical research article is an article which reports research based on actual observations or experiments. The research may use quantitative research methods, which generate numerical data and seek to establish causal relationships between two or more variables.(1) Empirical research articles may use qualitative research methods, which objectively and critically analyze behaviors, beliefs, feelings, or values with few or no numerical data available for analysis.(2)
When looking at an article or the abstract of an article, here are some guidelines to use to decide if an article is an empirical article.
When in doubt if an article is an empirical research article, share the article citation and abstract with your professor or a librarian so that we can help you become better at recognizing the differences between empirical research and other types of scholarly articles.