Popular vs. Scholarly tutorial
Created by the University of Arizona Libraries

You may be required to include articles from scholarly journals for some class assignments. You should understand the difference between scholarly and popular articles.

This exercise will teach you how to identify and tell the difference between popular and scholarly articles.

Popular sources (e.g. 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 sources
Scholarly sources (e.g. 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
Examples of scholarly sources
Review questions
Answer these questions to test your knowledge of popular and scholarly sources. If you are doing this assignment as part of a class, when you are finished you can make a printout of your answers.
Your name
Your answer
Your instructor
Your answer
Articles written by university professors in a given field are:
The glossy covers on these are meant to attract people at the supermarket check-out counter
A 15 page article with a list of references will be found in
Evaluate citations
The next questions include real citations. Using the above criteria for popular vs. scholarly articles (audience, length, author, style of language, type of article), review them and indicate which type of article each probably is.
This citation is:
Mallozzi, Michele. "Fork in the Road", American Fitness , Nov/Dec99, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p44, 3p, 2 charts; Focuses on the impact of vegetarianism on an athlete's health; effect of vegetarianism and sports participation on eating disorders.
This citation is:
Lee, Richard; Keough, Kelli. "Social Connectedness, Social Appraisal and Perceived Stress in College Women and Men", Journal of Counseling & Development , Summ2002, Vol. 80, Issue 3, p.343-355. Study examined the effects of social connectedness and perceived stress of college men and women. Two hundred and fourteen college students were surveyed.
This citation is:
Fulkerson, Jayne A.; Keel, Pamela K. "Eating-Disordered Behaviors and Personality Characteristics of High School Athletes and Nonathletes," International Journal of Eating Disorders , Jul99, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p73, 9p, 1 chart; Studies high school athletes at risk for an eating disorder. Methodology used in the study; Data comparison with nonathletes.
This citation is:
Neporent, Liz. "When Vegetarianism Raises a Red Flag," New York Times , 01/05/99, Vol. 148 Issue 51393, pF7, 1/4 p, 1c; Discusses the link of vegetarianism and eating disorders in young athletic women.
This citation is:
Macola, Giacomo. "Swiss Missionaries and the Construction of Knowledge about Africa." Journal of African History , 2008, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p311-313, 3p. A review of the book: Butterflies & Barbarians: Swiss Missionaries & Systems of Knowledge in Southeast Africa.
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