Skip to main content

UNST 231A Gender & Sexualities - McDaneld: Popular vs Scholarly

What is a Scholarly Article?

Peer-Reviewed, Popular… or in Between?

Questions to Ask when Evaluating Articles

  Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Professional Journals Popular Magazines
Examples Harvard Business Review; American Journal of Sociology; Modern Language Notes

Newsweek; Sports Illustrated; People; National Geographic; Wired

What is “the look”? Somber, serious with graphs and tables. Few, if any, pictures. Attractive, slick with lots of pictures and advertisements.
Who is the audience? Other professionals in the field or discipline. Language is scholarly and subject specific. General audience. Language relative to the topic. Articles can be short and lacking depth.
What is the purpose? To report original research or experimentation or persuade based on research.

To entertain, to sell, or to promote a viewpoint.

Who wrote the article? A scholar or researcher often with an institutional or academic affiliation.

Freelance writers, magazine staff or a well-known person not necessarily an expert in the field.

How carefully is it documented? Always has references, footnotes and/or a bibliography. Follows a style like APA or MLA. Rarely cites sources or makes broad references to sources.

Types of Articles

News articles provide current information. Certain newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, are also known for thoughtful, in-depth analysis of important topics and events.

Popular magazine articles can help you generate ideas about issues, controversies, or unanswered questions about a topic. They often refer to studies or scholarly works that you can track down for more information.

 

Trade publications are written by and for professionals within an industry and are an excellent source of very specific information from inside the field.

Scholarly journal articles go through the 
peer review process before publication.
 These articles are written by experts in the field, and their purpose is to advance the ongoing body of work within the subject or  discipline. These articles present original research with data and findings or explore a key question within the field. The subject specific language addresses other experts and academics.