Take a few minutes to review the following chart. This will help familiarize or reinforce the differences in types of articles you will find as you conduct your research. Being able to recognize alternate forms of articles is an important aspect of the research process.
As you search in the databases, you'll see that some of them bring back results by article type, or they will give you the option to sort by article type. This can be a huge time-saver! If you can eliminate articles that don't meet the parameters of your assignment, use the tools to do that.
You'll still need to use your critical thinking and evaluation skills to determine if the article is categorized correctly as sometimes, believe it or not, the databases get it wrong! Use the clues from the periodical chart to deduce if the article meets the criteria for the type of article it has been designated. For example, if you have chosen a limiter to display only scholarly articles, the articles in your results list should include extensive citations/footnotes, be authored by a researcher/academic/expert, exclude glossy ads or graphics, be written at an academic/technical level, etc. If many of those components are missing, you may be looking at a trade journal article.