Look for the following elements in articles you find. Research articles contain most or all of these sections. Look in particular for a "methods" section.
Look also for a scholarly writing style and the use of a very precise, scientific vocabulary. This is often apparent in the journal's title, which can be lengthy and loaded with pertinent key words.
Research articles may also include charts, graphs, maps, and other illustrations that visually display data results.
"Anatomy of a Scholarly Article" by Andreas Orphanides is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.