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Scholarly vs. Popular Articles  

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Scholarly vs. Popular Resources

Often, your professor will require you to find "scholarly", academic" or "peer reviewed" articles.  But what exactly does this mean and how do you identify these types of articles?



Look at the Citation:

1. May have journal or bulletin in the periodical title.

Look at the Citation:

1. May have magazine or popular words in periodical title.

2. Issued less often; quarterly, semi-annually or monthly.

2. Issued often – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

3. Articles frequently have more than one author.

3. Articles are often staff-written.

4. Articles are longer – more than three pages.

4. Articles are shorter, usually under three pages.

5. Article titles are longer and research-sounding, nothing catchy.

5. Article titles may be short, may include catchy phrases or puns.

Look at the Articles:

6. May have abstract at beginning.

Look at the Articles:

6. No abstract at the beginning.

7. Authors' credentials or research institution may be listed.

7. Author's credentials or research institutions are not listed.

8. Has a list of references or bibliography at the end.

8. No references or bibliography at the end.

9. Articles have a very serious tone.

9. Articles may be written in a chatty or easy-to-read style.

10. If images are included, they serve to support the research in the article.

10. Images are used to draw attention, but don't provide substantial supporting material.

Look at the Periodicals:

11. Few or no illustrations; little color.

Look at the Periodicals:

11. Heavily illustrated, with color.

12. No advertising.

12. Has advertisements.

13. Matte paper.

13. Glossy Paper.

14. Lists editorial board members on inside pages.

14. Uses eye-catching typography and layout.


15. Not something you'd find on a newsstand.


15. Something you may find on a newsstand.

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