SOC 3500: Methods in Social Research

How to Read and Annotate a Scholarly Article

Typical Article Structure in Sociology

 

Section What to Look for
Introduction
  • What is the main contribution this study makes to the literature on this topic (you can also look to the conclusion for this)?
  • Is this going to be relevant to your project?
Literature Review (sometimes also called "Theoretical Framework")
  • What are the major themes the author has identified in the literature as being pertinent to their topic?
  • Are there any sources cited here that could be useful for your research?
  • How does the author see their research question fitting in to the rest of this literature?
Methods
  • What is the researcher's method of answering the research question? (e.g., qualitative, quantitative)
  • What are the variables being measured/analyzed?
  • Where is the data coming from?
Results
  • Based on their analysis of the data, what answers to their research questions did the authors find?
Discussion
  • How do the results of this study fit in with the results of other studies on this topic? 
  • What are the key takeaways from this study?
Conclusion
  • What is the main contribution this study makes to the literature on this topic (you can also look to the introduction for this)?
  • What are some questions left unanswered?