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Research articles are the backbone of college level research. They detail the actual work done in studies and are evaluated by others before getting published. They also are best read after initial research has been completed of background information. Generally research articles come in three forms: scholarly, trade, and popular. You professor will help direct you to the best type of article for the work you are completing.
For more focused searching of peer reviewed articles (and oftentimes better results!) look to EBSCO and JSTOR. EBSCO's Academic Search Complete provides a excellent starting place for academic research across disciplines. JSTOR also provides research articles across disciplines, with a focus on the humanities (and often older research).
Searching for research articles will take more work than a basic Google search.