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PS-3001 Crop Evolution

Identifying Peer-Reviewed Literature

Research Articles

Research articles are also often known as scientific or peer-reviewed articles. If the article is NOT written by the person or group who did the research, it is NOT a peer-reviewed or scientific article. Research articles are important for knowing what new discoveries have been made. This is why it is important to use recent articles, since they will be the first things published on a new scientific development. 

Here's a quick overview of how to identify these journal articles:

  • written by the scientist(s) who actually did the research
  • follows a specific format 
    • abstract
    • introduction
    • materials & methods
    • results
    • conclusions
    • references 
  • assumes reader already knows background information about the topic has been evaluated by experts
  • Tip:  Look for a statement about when the article was accepted for publication. Most peer-reviewed articles will include one.
Example of a Research Article


Finding Research

Books and eBooks

Scientific Articles

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or article you want is not available, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The Library can order books and articles from other libraries. This process takes few days but is completely free for DelVal students, faculty, and staff.

Before you submit an ILL, check Google Scholar or Summon to see if we have immediate access or if it is freely available online.

Writing your Abstract

Writing an Abstract

The contents of this page are borrowed in part from Purdue's Online Writing Lab and UNC's Writing Center.

Your abstract should summarize the key points of your research paper by touching briefly on the following elements:

  1. Reason for Writing -- Why is the topic important?  Why would someone want to read your paper?
  2. Problem -- What issue are you trying to solve? What is your main argument, thesis, or claim?
  3. Methodology -- How did you conduct your research?  What types of data and evidence did you include?
  4. Results -- What did you discover?
  5. Implications -- What are your conclusions and suggestions for the future?

Reread your finished paper and look specifically for the elements included in this list.  Then sit on your paper (or put it away) and write a rough draft of your abstract.  Do not simply copy and paste key sentences from your paper, and do not mention any information that you didn't include in your paper!  When you're ready to revise your rough draft, check for organization, coherence, and content.

Most informative abstracts are generally 200-300 words and one paragraph in length.

A good abstract...

  • offers a concise, coherent, and complete summary of your paper in one well-written paragraph
  • uses an introduction/body/conclusion structure that discusses the parts of your paper (purpose, findings, conclusions, recommendations)
  • discusses the parts of your paper in chronological order
  • includes only the information that you address in your paper (no extraneous details)
  • appeals to a wide audience (even those readers who may not be experts on your topic)

To view examples of abstracts, do a search in any database, or take a look at the abstracts attached to the studies that you found for your paper! Or click the document below...

Setting up RefWorks


RefWorks is a new way to collect, manage, and organize research.  You can read, annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate by sharing collections.

From simple bibliographies to papers formatted with in-text citations or footnotes, RefWorks handles it all. ‚ÄčTo learn more about RefWorks, use our RefWorks research guide.

To create a RefWorks account:

  1. Go to the link below and click Create account
  2. Fill in your information, making sure to use your DelVal email address.  
  3. Go to your inbox and click the email link to complete the activation process. 

Already have an account? Just go to the link below and click "Log In"

Online Tutorials

Getting Help

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is staffed by DelVal undergraduate peer tutors who help with writing assignments in all your courses. We view writing as a process that involves planning, reading, drafting, revising, and editing—writing with substance involves discovering your meaning through brainstorming, sharing, and getting lots of feedback.

Tutors help you gain a fresh perspective on the writing process, and can assist with any stage of the process:  choosing a topic or working through writer's block, generating ideas, creating an outline, sharpening a thesis, arranging and organizing paragraphs, citing correctly and fluently, editing grammar and mechanics, and more.

Instructors receive a copy of the tutor report completed during the session, to illustrate your engagement with the writing process and meeting the demands of writing across disciplines.

Services are on a walk-in basis, so no appointment is necessary. Schedules are posted in the Writing Center, on Inside DelVal, and on professors' Blackboard course pages.

Tutors look forward to working with you!