Skip to main content

ENGL 1900: Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research: Scholarly vs. Popular

Librarian-selected resources and information for ENGL 1900 students.

Scholarly Journals v. Popular Magazines

Scholarly Journals

  • Articles tend to be lengthy
  • Reading the articles requires your undivided attention
  • The author provides a complete list (bibliography) of the sources used
  • The entire issue is devoted to one topic, such as biology
  • Articles contain few pictures and advertisements
  • Often there are illustrations or graphs supporting the authors research
  • Articles usually are located by using a subject-oriented database such as PsycINFOHistorical AbstractsBiological Abstracts, etc.
  • The authors credentials are provided
  • The periodical is published or sponsored by a scholarly or a professional association or an academic press

Examples:  Psychological BulletinJournal of Physical ChemistryModern Fiction Studies  

Popular Magazines

  • Articles tend to be short
  • Articles are easy to read
  • There may be no indication of where the author got the information used in the article
  • The issue may be devoted to one or many topics
  • There often are many pictures
  • There are many advertisements
  • Articles are found using a general database such as Academic Search Complete
  • You may not know who wrote the article or the author's credentials
  • Periodical is published by commercial publisher

Examples:  Popular MechanicsNewsweekEbonySports Illustrated 

Scholarly and Popular Sources

Loyola Marymount University tutorial.

Peer Review in Three Minutes

Tutorial created by Anne Burke, Andreas Opphanides, Hyun-Duck Chung, Daria Dorafshar, Kyle Langdon, and Kim Duckett, NCSU Libraries.