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Information Evaluation

Chart details popular and scholarly article differences. For popular articles, journalists or professional writers are the authors. They are written for the general public and often include color, photos, and advertisements. They tend to be short and are written so the average reader can understand them. They give broad overviews of issues that the public cares about, and they rarely cite their sources. They are recommended for general reading, finding topic ideas, and learning basics or perspectives for your topic. Scholarly articles are written by scholars, faculty members, researchers, or professionals in the field. They are written for other scholars or professionals, so they use a lot of technical jargon and academic language. They are mostly text with perhaps a few charts or graphs. They tend to be lengthy and cover narrow topics related to specific fields. They include full citations for many credible sources. Scholarly articles are recommended as sources for academic work or professional development. They also help you learn about new research being conducted in a given field of study.

Things to remember about peer-reviewed (scholarly) articles:

1. Typically written by professors, scholars, professional researchers or experts in the field

2. Before publication, articles are scrutinized by other experts in the same field (that's why we call it "peer review")

3. Because of this rigorous review process, peer-review articles are considered to be among the most authoritative and reliable sources you can choose for your research paper or project

4. Peer reviewed articles usually have a narrow focus, and often report the results of a research study. You must think critically and carefully about how such an article applies to your topic. Often, they can provide excellent examples or case studies to support the arguments or explanations within your research paper.

5. Occasionally, academic/scholarly journals publish articles that have not been peer-reviewed (for example, an editorial opinion piece can be published in a scholarly journal, but the article itself is not "scholarly" because it hasn't been peer-reviewed).


Anatomy of a Scholarly Article
This interactive page illustrates the different sections that are often present within scholarly/academic articles.

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

 List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦ Provide either footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations

For more help with citations, check this guide out.