Suppose you search in America: History and Life and find a potentially interesting article. Is it worth reading?
Looking at the article's entry in the database tells you a lot. The record will tell you:
Academic articles are written in a very specific manner.
Articles will include an introduction, review of the topic, analysis of information, conclusion, and work cited section.
As a researcher, each of these sections are important to you because they: summarize the field, provide new information, offer a new interpretation of the topic, then provide a list of other sources to consult.