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HLTH 260: Health Literacy and Communication: Critically Evaluate Information

What is an "empirical article"?

An empirical article is an article that reports research based on actual observation or experiment; it may use either quantitative or qualitative research methods.

Need help determining if an article is empirical or not?

  • In what kind of journal is this article published?
    • ​Empirical articles are published in academic or professional journals, such as Journal of American College Health, American Journal of Health Education, or JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Does the article's abstract mention an observation, analysis or study?
    • ​Empirical research measures something, meaning empirical articles will typically contain data collection, survey results, interviews, or an assessment of some sort.
  • Does the article contain the following sections:
    • Introduction
    • Methodology
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion
    • References
  • How many pages is the article?
    • ​Empirical articles are typically of substantial length- think at least 5+ pages.

Popular Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals


This information is an adaptation of Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test created by Meriam Library, CSU, Chico

Critically Evaluate Information

Critically Evaluating Sources (what do we mean by "sources"?)

For college-level research, you'll want to consider using only the highest-quality information sources you can find. Between the internet and SU’s library, the “best” information can depend on the assignment. Here are some ways to determine the best information sources to lend support to your own research.