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Early College 2019-Scholarly and Academic Resources: Introduction

Session 1:

When choosing which articles to use for your assignments, you need to do a brief evaluation before you start reading the full article. Today we will

  1. Determine whether an article is scholarly
  2. Determine whether an article is generally appropriate for academic research

How do you know if a resource is a good resource for your academic paper?

From the Inform your thinking video:

  • Who is the author or creator of the information and why is this person qualified to write on this topic?
  • Is the article/information scholarly (peer reviewed)?
  • Does the author offer evidence that supports what they’re telling you and is there other information out there that helps confirm this evidence.

In addition to these ideas from the video take note of a few other things:

  • Think about the language that is used. Is the language objective, resentful, optimistic, biased, or emotionally charged?
  • Think about the purpose of the article? Is the purpose to persuade you to agree with a point of view, to inform you of facts, or to sell you a product?

What's not scholarly/peer reviewed?

  • Newspapers
  • Any magazine seen at the grocery store checkout line
  • Magazines including Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Scientific American, Psychology Today, etc. are not scholarly.
  • blogs
  • websites

Assignments often require a mix of both scholarly and non-scholarly sources. Be sure to meet assignment requirements. Also, think about how you will craft your argument and what evidence exists that will most strongly support that argument. Context is very important.

What's a Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Article?

In academic writing the word scholarly does not just mean academic in nature. The word "scholarly" means peer reviewed. So, when your assignment requires scholarly articles, your teacher is asking for an article that is written by scholars and reviewed by scholars before publication.

Written by Scholars + Reviewed by Scholars = Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed articles:

  • They usually look like research papers. They have in-text citations and a works cited section at the end.
  • The author's name will be included. Authors are usually professors at universities. The name of the University is also usually included.
  • Most library databases include an optional filter to limit results to articles published in peer reviewed journals.

The structure and requirements of "scholarly" can vary somewhat by discipline and by the type of material being written. However, all scholarly articles are peer reviewed. If in doubt about whether a journal is scholarly, check Ulrichsweb or look up the website of the journal. Try the journal website's "about" section or the section with info about author submissions. Scholarly journal websites should also provides the names of reviewers on the editorial board.

Scholarly books are usually published by university presses. However, other presses also publish scholarly books. Check the publisher's website for information about the review process. Scholarly books will have in-text citations and some type of reference list such as notes, works cited, etc. They frequently have an index.