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Freshman English: Scholarly vs Popular

A guide for students in English 1101, 1102, and 1103

Scholarly vs Popular

Often, your instructor will limit your research resources to scholarly articles. How can you tell the difference between scholarly vs popular articles?

Popular Magazines

Popular Articles/Magazines

  • Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
  • Use language easily understood by general readers
  • Articles not evaluated by experts in the field but by editors on the staff
  • Rarely give full citations for sources
  • Shorter articles giving a broader overview of topics
  • Newspapers are considered as popular magazines

Examples:

                     

Adapted and used with permission from the University of Arizona Library.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles

Scholarly Books

  • Will be based on interpretation of primary sources and other secondary sources
  • Will include citations (in the form of references, footnotes, and/or endnotes)
  • Are often published by university presses (examples: Oxford University Press; University of Georgia Press, etc.)
  • Will include an index


Scholarly Journals

Scholarly Articles/Journals

  • Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars
  • Use scholarly or technical language
  • Tend to be longer articles about specific research
  • Include full citations for sources
  • Are peer reviewed or refereed (articles are reviewed by an editor and other scholars in the field before being published)
  • Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholary articles, even when found in scholarly journals

Examples:

                      

Adapted and used with permission from the University of Arizona Library.