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How-To: Identify Types of Scientific Journal Articles

This guide will allow you to identify scholarly journal articles.

Types of Journal Articles

1.03 THEORETICAL ARTICLES (pp. 10-11).

Theoretical articles use existing research to advance theory. The development of theory is traced in order to expand and refine theoretical constructs.  A new theory may be presented, or an existing theory may be analyzed to highlight flaws or showing the advantage of one theory over another.  A theory's internal consistency and external validity are examined in this type of article.

The abstract for a theoretical article includes the following: (p. 27)

  1. a discussion of how the theory or model under review works, and/or how the principle upon which the theory or model is based
  2. what the theory or model accounts for, and connections to empirical results.

Example:

Armitage, C. (2009). Is there utility in the transtheoretical model?. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14(2). 195-210.

           doi: 10.1348/135910708X368991.