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SPAN 3240 - Introduction to the Study of Spanish Linguistics

A course-specific guide created to aid students in the Spanish 3240 class.

What does an Empirical Study look like?

"Empirical research is research that is based on observation and measurement of phenomena, as directly experienced by the researcher. The data thus gathered may be compared against a theory or hypothesis, but the results are still based on real life experience. The data gathered is all primary data, although secondary data from a literature review may form the theoretical background."

From Emerald Publishing's guide to conducting empirical research.

Comparing Different Discipline's Writing Styles:


How to read a scholarly article 

Different disciplines have different writing conventions. The social sciences (sociology, education, etc...) and the humanities (literature, philosophy, etc...) writing styles rely on a combination of

  • established and subjective information 
  • new, original information from the author(s)

Both structures typically include

  • summary
  • introduction
  • context
  • approach
  • discussion/analysis
  • conclusion

Differences can typically be found in

  • the abstract  (included or not)
  • methodological versus theoretical approach
  • citation style (APA versus MLA)

When reading and referring to  an article 

  • start with the abstract, introduction and conclusion to get an over all sense of the content. 
  • paraphrase from the objective sections
  • cite directly from the subjective sections

Empirical Research Article Checklist

Must include at least 4 of these steps of the scientific method:

  • Observation
  • Hypothesis/research question
  • Experiment
  • Theory
  • Conclusion

It can be qualitative (analyzes words) or quantitative (analyzes numbers).

Empirical Research Resources