Answered By: Davy Gibbs
Last Updated: Aug 31, 2022     Views: 35

The first step is learning how to identify empirical research (which is not as scary as it sounds). This definition on La Salle University's website is a good place to start:

Empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. 

(See their guide for more useful information about empirical research:

We also recommend checking out the related information available within Academic Writer. Click on the Learn tab and enter "empirical" in the search box on the right. It will bring up a link to a presentation on the different types of journal articles, and "empirical articles" is one of them.

Once you're comfortable knowing exactly what it is you're searching for (which, to oversimplify matters, are articles based on observation and original research), you can begin using the databases. We recommend starting with the Quick Search on the Library's homepage (that's the default search field you'll see when the page loads). Find your subject in the drop-down menu to focus your search and check the boxes for "Full Text" (to ensure instant availability) and "Scholarly" (to limit your results to academic journal articles). Then, type in your keywords.

Since you've already limited your results to academic journals, it's a good bet that most of the resulting articles will represent some sort of original study and/or analysis, and thus may qualify as empirical articles. To narrow your search even further, try adding research terms such as "qualitative research," "quantitative research," or "mixed methods research" into the additional search fields at the top of the page. You can get even more specific with terms like "observational study," "survey," "interview," "case-control study," or "randomized controlled trial." Not all relevant and/or appropriate studies will include these keywords, but many will.

If you find that you're still having trouble finding something that works for your assignment, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly.


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