Different Types of Articles – A Helpful Guide for Early Career Researchers

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Whether you want to create a peer review or a piece of scholarly literature, you need to understand the different types of articles that are out there. Ultimately, the goal is to figure out which one works best for exactly what you need.

Typically, research articles are designed to help others dive deeper into a product or idea. With that, journal articles are often posted on scholarly websites and in those types of magazines.

As a content creator or someone who needs content for their website, you need to understand the types of articles available that we can create for you. That way, you promote yourself in the best way and help your readers realize why you’re the best while informing them about things or entertaining them.

Basic Article Types

You may not think about it, but there are well over 20 different article styles out there. It’s crucial to understand a bit about each one so that you can choose what you want us to craft for you.

Book Review Article

Typically, academic journals publish book reviews to offer professional and expert opinions and provide insight about recently published scholarly books and scholarly journals. They’re often short articles that aren’t time-consuming to read.

Since academic journals publish them all the time, it gives writers a good chance to stay updated on the most popular books when they write book review articles. With that, they can add book reviews to their resume or life experiences.

Clinical Case Study

In medicine, the clinical study is a report or type of article that offers more in-depth details about the results and methods used in a clinical trial. They’re usually similar in length to research articles.

Most journals require that you register the protocols for any clinical trials you’re involved in using a public register.

Typically, an original research article like this describes real patient cases from medical or clinical practices. Each case should contribute significantly to the existing knowledge of that field.

Since most of the studies talk about diagnosis, symptoms, signs, and treatment of a disease, they are often considered primary literature.

Each one is an original article, and early career researchers often use them to get the knowledge they need. However, journals publish them for technical or industry-specific info, so they’re not suitable for beginner writers.

Don’t worry! We can help you write one or edit it if necessary!

Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are also related to the medical field. The clinical trial article describes the results, methodologies, and implementation of clinical studies, many of which require large groups of people to participate.

Typically, clinical trial articles are quite long. Their length is about the same as your original research article. To write them, you have to understand the clinical trials and what they discuss, as well as have reliability, ethics, and work experience. Again, they are considered a form of primary literature.


A column is there to highlight the author’s personality, so they can write about a subject using a one-of-a-kind or unique style. Many columnists use one of many approaches to help personalize the content, including experience in a certain subject area or topic or using humor.

Therefore, column writers have to develop a personal style. With time, this becomes recognizable by the target audience.

Generally, columnists write about personal experiences and their thoughts. However, they usually go so far as to interpret various events and issues if they’re passionate about them.

With every column, the writer‘s style should come through, making their piece different than another person’s. Most columns get published once a week. Plus, they’re long enough so that the writer can go into more detail about the topic at hand.


Typically, these types of articles don’t get posted in scholarly journals and aren’t considered scholarly literature. However, one exception is if you have scholarly reviews. In this case, they could be called secondary literature.

Though each one has many things in common with the other, they do vary slightly.

For example, commentaries are often short articles that are only 1,000 to 1,500 words long. They are used to critique or draw attention to a report, book, or already published article. Commentaries explain why that book or article interested the writer and why the reader might like it, too.

Perspective articles are the scholarly reviews, and they’re written about fundamental concepts or prevalent ideas in a particular field of interest. These articles are often written in essay form and focus on a personal point of view that can critique popular notions for a specific industry. With that, they can be used as reviews about concepts related to each other or a single concept. Typically, they’re short and only about 2,000 words long.

Opinion articles are like they sound. They only consist of the author’s viewpoint on the methods, analysis, or interpretation of a particular study. The author often comments on the weaknesses and strengths of a theory or hypothesis. With that, they have to be based on constructive criticism and backed by sound evidence.

Ultimately, opinion articles are ideal for promoting a discussion section of the recent issues relating to science and are often shorter in length.


Essays are often the shortest pieces of content written and are medium in length. Usually, they describe a personal experience or opinion from the author. Other researchers may use these essays in a PhD thesis for social sciences and other needs.

Usually, essay writers focus more on presenting their views on the topic. With that, they center on a particular subject. Many times, essays are designed to argue a point; therefore, it’s important to show both sides of the story and argue your case.

Case Reports

A case report is a study and original short report that offers details about one patient’s case. They usually include highly detailed information about the diagnosis, signs, symptoms, treatment, and follow-up for the person. With that, they’re considered a cornerstone of medical progress and offer new ideas within the medical field.

Depending on the journal in which it’s found, the case report doesn’t have to describe unusual or novel cases. There’s a benefit of collecting information from standard cases, too.

Letters and Short Reports

Short reports and letters are often called rapid communications or brief communications. With that, they’re brief reports of data from someone’s original research. Editors often publish them when they believe the information could be interesting to many researchers or may stimulate further research within the field. Sometimes, entire journals publish nothing but letters.

Because they’re relatively short, the format is great for those who require time-sensitive results, such as quick-changing disciplines or highly competitive fields. This format requires strict length limits, so sometimes, the experimental details aren’t published until authors write the full original research article.

Brief reports used to be called research notes, and they’re just one type of short report available.

Feature Writing

Feature articles are more in-depth and go into significant detail about topics, events, trends, and people. The goal with these types of articles is to thoroughly explore that topic by using experts or interviews and even get the main people involved.

With that, they focus on showing a new perspective on the topic that hasn’t been seen before. Ultimately, the main goal of a feature article is to offer plenty of detail so that the viewers and readers are familiar with each aspect within the story. Typically, these articles win many prestigious journalism awards and have a higher word count than others.

Freelance Writing

A freelance writer is someone who doesn’t work for a single publication or company. Instead, they hire out their services to many organizations that are located anywhere in the world. Most freelancers are professional writers who take different jobs for short periods. Still, they are their own bosses and aren’t considered permanent employees of any single company.

Along with that, freelancers accept pay from whoever requires that an article be written. Even if the writing is creative or technical, the assignment is short-term. Technical articles are often asked for by the company that hires them, though creative articles are often written by the freelancer first and sold when possible.

Freelance articles may include:

  • Book reviews
  • Translation of an article to another language
  • Training manuals
  • Program proposals
  • Interviews to get published in magazines
  • Grant writing
  • Blogs
  • Articles


How-to articles are usually very specific and describe the tips and steps necessary for the reader to do something. If you’ve read a recipe, this is an example of this type of article.

Many how-to articles include problems and their solutions or answers to questions. They consist of topics like showing you how to reload price guns to connecting the game system to a TV set and anything else. If it specifically describes how to do something and offers bullet points or number formats, it’s probably a how-to.


Investigative journalism is considered an exciting type of writing, and only a particular journal type offers this. These jobs focus on uncovering the truth about subjects, events, and people.

With that, it focuses on the principle that those final results must be accurate and well-verified and only filled with facts. That’s difficult for many investigative journalists because most of the people they work with are hostile or uncooperative by nature because they’re trying to out them.

It’s often hard to get the information necessary to produce the best results. However, it can break the situation wide open when you’re successful. Typically, these types of content cause a public uproar, but the investigative journalist’s only goal is to make sure that the viewers or readers know what’s truly happening.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor are actual letters that readers have written to a particular publication. Therefore, the topics can be just about anything. Many newspapers think that such letters are crucial because they help editors know what readers feel about a particular topic.

With that, many editors try to strike a balance when they choose the letters to print. Some smaller ones print any that they get. Even if people are unfamiliar with the many writing styles out there, they can craft a simple letter. Plus, most editors feel that when they get one letter with a particular opinion, there are dozens or more who feel that same way.


Many times, the topics vary greatly with this article type and they focus on issues about a person’s lifestyle. This includes anything from health, recreation, relationships, and real-life interviews. With that, they sometimes contain statistics.

Examples can include describing popular restaurants in your town, local private schools, ways to use the new walking path installed in the city, and so much more. With these options, you want to get as personalized with the local information as you can. That way, more people want to read them!


If you like watching the news each day, you notice that this writing style is straightforward and filled with facts. News articles must be written without personal interpretation or bias by the reporters. With that, a news story isn’t a feature story because it’s to the point, short, and consists of the headline and enough information to pique the reader’s interest.

In a sense, it offers just enough info so that the reader understands what happened within the storyline but nothing else. They typically relay basic information, events, and facts using an unbiased and accurate method. They don’t go into tons of detail about the story, only offering the basics so that people get what they need to know and can go on with their lives.


Opposite the editorial (op-ed) articles provide the writer’s opinion. They’re often found in newspapers, and they’re named that because they get published on the page opposite of the editorial. Many times, the author of the local paper publishes them, and they include opinions about everything, including major national stories and small-town issues.

Generally, an op-ed article offers an alternative opinion from other editorials in the paper. They’re usually written by experts in that industry. With that, they educate others about an issue and go into detail. In a sense, they present other views from the ones currently expressed in a publication and attempt to give it more balance.

Typically, an article like this builds up the publication’s image that printed it, and it could be about any political or social issue. The writers must have knowledge of that subject area, and the publication dictates the word count and style required, though many of them are about 600 words long. With all that, these pieces are often written by freelancers and not those hired by the newspaper.

Original Research

Another common journal article type is the original research article. These are detailed studies that report new work and are called primary literature because of it.

Original research articles can be called research or original articles, depending on the particular journal.

In STEM subjects, original research articles include an abstract, intro, results, methods, discussion, and conclusion. However, you should check the instructions from the journal to ensure that your original research articles are structured correctly.

Such a journal article is often 3,000 to 6,000 words long. However, some word counts for original research articles go as high as 12,000 words.

Registered Report

A registered report could be an original research article or study protocol. This is because the processes for them are divided into two different stages. In the first stage, reviewers must assess the study protocol before data gets collected. With the second stage, they consider the full study as the original research article, including interpretations and results.

They’re often considered secondary literature because they discuss things that were already printed or published.

Personality Profile

Have you read an article from People magazine? If you have, this is a personality profile article. They revolve around the person’s life accomplishments and are often based on an interview with the person.

Such articles are in-depth to look at the person’s full life, beginning from birth. They usually include the person’s accomplishments, character, strengths, significant events, faults, and quirks. Typically, they are informative and casual, making for an interesting read.


These types of articles are based on an interview with someone. The difference between it and others is that the question-answer article doesn’t analyze the story or build it around answers from the person interviewed. The interviewer asks questions, writes the answers down, and prints all of that. It’s not considered an opinion piece because it only offers the facts.

This content usually has a lead or introductory paragraph. However, the rest of the article is only the questions and responses from the person interviewed.


Reviews are part opinion and part fact, and they can talk about different subjects. If you’ve ever read a book review or movie review, you know what it does. Review articles try to accomplish two different things: they thoroughly and accurately describe and identify the subject to review and use research and experience to offer an intelligent and informed opinion on the subject.

In a sense, they don’t spew out opinions about what you dislike or like about the reviewed item. They’re concise and well thought out, always containing enough research to make it comprehensive and thoughtful. That way, the reader gets an accurate representation of what was reviewed.

With that, they can present a critical and constructive analysis of the existing literature, which is accomplished through comparison, summary, and analysis.

Since they rely on existing published literature, they are considered secondary literature pieces. The goal here is to identify gaps or problems and offer recommendations for future research.

With that, they don’t present new data and come in: systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and literature reviews.

The systematic review is about 10,000 words long and uses previous research to convey a theoretical article.

A review article that uses meta-analysis is about 8,000 to 40,000 words. Ultimately, the meta-analysis version is a formal and quantitative study used to assess the results of other research to find conclusions. They are similar to systematic reviews, but they’re based on controlled and randomized clinical trials.

Literature reviews focus on the current knowledge within a particular topic. With that, a literature review article should include substantive findings and methodological and theoretical contributions.

Review articles aren’t like research articles because they don’t offer new information about the author’s experimental work. They are only there to interpret or analyze the primary research on a topic.


As the name suggests, shorts are about 500 words or less and focus on the target market for the publication. If the magazine you write for offers a fitness or health section, you might be in charge of writing short articles that apply to that. They can focus on any topic, but it’s dictated by what publication you write for.

Sponsored content articles are an advertising method. They read and look like traditional editorials, but they’re paid for by an advertiser with the intent to promote a service or product that the company offers.

For example, a car dealership could buy a one-page editorial to describe road travel. The advertiser is mentioned somewhere because that’s the main point. Native advertising, as it’s often called, is usually written by an on-staff writer and not a freelancer.


Trend articles focus on a movement that increases or decreases with time. Examples can include divorcing couples, housing prices, how many people play a particular video game, and much more.

Because trends go up/down, the article reflects that with each time period.

Conference Materials

Most medical journals use conference materials as supplements. These are permanent, citable, and peer-reviewed publications within that journal.

Conference materials record the research about a common thread and are presented at conferences or workshops. They include poster extracts, presentation extracts, and conference extracts.

Data Notes

Data notes are shorter peer-reviewed articles that describe the research data stored in the repository and are very concise. Publishing data notes gives you more impact with the information and can ensure that you receive credit for the research you did.

They also promote the reuse of the research data and can include details about how and why it was created. They don’t offer analysis, but they may be linked to research articles that have analyzed the published datasets.

Differences Between Article Types

For most people, there are only short and long articles. Here are the primary differences between the two options:


Long articles are often anywhere from 700 to 3,000 words long, but they can go up to 12,000 or more. The writing style is often similar to books. With that, a longer article can handle complex subjects and go into more detail. Plus, they’re often written for people at 8th- or 10th-grade reading levels.

It’s crucial to know the subject matter well. That way, long articles can let you present much information about that subject or topic. Since people are very much exposed to technology and have lower literacy levels and attention spans, they must be simple to read and scan, adjusting to the readership so that they communicate your information successfully.

As a general rule, you want to have a title and subheadings spaced at 500 to 700-word intervals. This takes some planning on your part, but it can ensure that the reader stays interested and reads to the end.


Short articles are between 500 and 700 words long and are written like blogs. Typically, they only focus on one point or subject and contain short paragraphs (between three and five sentences) to keep readers interested.

Usually, short articles work well for subjects that you’re not an expert in but are interested in. With that, they contain simple language and formatting. Many times, they’re written for those at a 4th-grade reading level. That means you should write like you’re talking to a 9-year-old. If they understand it, that’s the best language.

With that, the short article must get to the point quickly. Keep the subject focused and simplified so that it is easy to understand. Don’t use long sentences, and sprinkle information throughout the article.

Typically, such an article for a magazine or newspaper requires a slightly different style than for a website or blog. Most sites and publications lay out the requirements before you start writing. That way, you know what to do.

How to Get Articles Published

To get articles published, you have to know what you want to write and where you want it to show up. If your goal is to ghostwrite for companies, it might be wise to sign up on various job boards and writing platforms.

However, if you are focused on getting into a magazine or newspaper, you must do your due diligence and research the industry and publication.

You know it’s a successful publication because it’s still around after all these years. Therefore, it’s sure to have specific rules about what it thinks is appropriate. Knowing what that is can ensure that you get published.

With that, you should look to see what articles it often posts and what you want to write. Do you like the difference in trends, prefer to interview others, or something else?

Once you know what you need, take a look at the publication to see how long the articles often are. It might be wise to go to that particular magazine’s website and see if it lists specific instructions for writing or what pieces the publication is most interested in.

Then, you must write the article and ensure that it brings to the table what the publication is likely to want. This may be a new take on an old topic or something entirely different.

As you write, make sure to think of the magazine’s guidelines. They are there to help you! When you’re finished, it’s crucial to check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Reread the content and even do it aloud if necessary. You don’t want to send work in with typos because it makes you look unprofessional.

Send the piece in for review, or send an email stating that you’ve written about that topic and want to get published. Be prepared for rejection, as one publication might not like the idea. Keep trying until you find someone willing to publish your piece.


While experienced researchers are there to offer a peer review articles or other original research articles, you don’t have to be on a research project or be one of the many early career researchers to get content written efficiently and appropriately.

You might be a business owner with a website. Case studies and other article forms are all crucial to ensure that you showcase yourself in the best light. For those who don’t know how to write and want great content, you can turn to us. We’ve helped many entrepreneurs discuss products and offer how-to articles that wow the crowd.

Just let us know what you need, and we can write it for you!

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