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.

ENGL 057 - Critical Connections in Reading and Writing - Thaker

Class Research Guide

Scholarly vs Non-Scholarly Articles

descriptions of various types of articles

Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly Journals

  • In-Depth- primary account of original findings written by the researcher.  Very specific information.
  • Purpose- to advance knowledge and educate.
  • Author- Usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise and credentials provided.
  • Written for scholars, researchers, and students.
  • Uses specialized terminology or jargon of the field.
  • Format- includes the article abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography.
  • Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers or referees who are experts in the field.
  • References are provided.
  • Examples- Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly

Popular Magazine

  • Secondary discussion of someone else's research, may include personal narrative or opinion, general information.
  • Purpose- to entertain or inform
  • Author- frequently a journalist paid to write articles, may or may not have subject expertise.
  • Written for the general public and interested non-specialists.
  • Easily understandable to most readers.
  • Format- may include non-standard formatting.  May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.
  • Articles are evaluated by editorial staff not experts in the field.
  • References or source materials rarely provided.
  • Examples- Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Ladies Home Journal.

Trade Journal or Magazine

  • Current news, trends or products in a specific field or industry.
  • Purpose- provide practical industry information
  • Author- usually industry professional, sometimes a journalist with subject expertise.
  • Written for industry professionals and interested non-specialists.
  • Uses specialized terminology or jargon of the field, but not as technical as a scholarly journal.
  • Format- organized like a journal or newsletter.  Presents evidence from personal experience or common knowledge.
  • Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not peer reviewed.
  • References may be provided in brief bibliography, not required.
  • Examples- PC World, Restaurant Business, Psychology Today, School Band and Orchestra

Featured Article Databases

These two databases specialize in controversial (argumentative) topics:

Mostly magazine, newspaper, and journal articles:

Newspapers with excellent reputations:

Databases by Subject

Basic Database Searching (HACC Video)

What are Databases and Why Do You Need Them? (Video Tutorial)