(Ruth Szpunar at DePauw University)
Most people are familiar with magazines. Magazines contain articles. They are the stories, essays, and columns that provide the content of the magazine.
Scholarly articles are very similar, but they're just geared towards a different audience. Scholars write an original and informative essay and have it published in a scholarly journal. Their peers read these articles and respond to them with more articles. Articles are written by scholars and for scholars. They are the dialogue of the academic community.
These articles are an excellent research tool because they give you insight into the latest thoughts of the most respected people in an academic field.
You can find articles in two ways. The old-fashioned way is to look them up in the journal they were published in, either in print or online. The second way is to search for articles in a database that contains articles from many scholarly journals on a specific subject.