This guide is designed to teach the differences between popular and scholarly articles.
Popular Articles (Magazines)
- Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
- Use language easily understood by general readers
- Rarely give full citations for sources
- Written for the general public
- Tend to be shorter than journal articles
Examples of Popular Magazines:
Scholarly Articles (Journals)
- Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)
- Uses scholarly or technical language
- Tend to be longer articles about research
- Include full citations for sources
- Are often refereed or peer reviewed (articles are reviewed by an editor and other specialists before being accepted for publication)
- Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly articles, even when found in scholarly journals
- Not all articles in a scholarly journal are scholarly, such as letters to the editor, opinion pieces, regular and/or guest columns
Examples of Scholarly Journals:
Some points to remember:
- Both magazine and journal articles can be good sources for your work.
- When selecting articles, think about how you intend to use the information:
- Do you want background on a topic new to you? (use magazines)
- Did your teacher say to cite scholarly resources? (use journals)
- Often a combination of the two will be most appropriate for undergraduate research.