Empirical research papers (or articles) allow researchers to share the findings of original studies or projects. Such projects observe, measure, record, and analyze data for the purpose of exploring, describing, or explaining behaviors or phenomena in humans, animals, or the natural world.

Undergraduate students may conduct research and write empirical research papers as part of a research methods class or a capstone project in their discipline. Masters and doctoral students may condense their thesis or dissertation research into one or more empirical research articles, with the hope of publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Faculty members in an array of disciplines regularly publish empirical research articles in scholarly journals, thus advancing knowledge in their fields.

While every discipline has unique writing conventions, most empirical research papers and articles follow a set structure. There are also stylistic features and content that tend to be similar across disciplines. Focusing on these commonalities, the University Writing Center has created the suite of resources below to guide writers through the process of writing an empirical research paper.

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