Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Anthropology: Popular vs. scholarly

Popular vs. Scholarly Video

Differences Between Popular vs. Scholarly

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:

Time cover Discover cover US New & World Report cover Astronomy cover  

 

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:

American Journal of Political Science cover Business History Review cover International Journal of Middle East Studies cover Child Development cover  

 

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.

Library Hours

Monday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday 2:30 pm - 7:30 pm