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.

EDUC 111 - Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care & Education -Vanhefter

Scholarly vs. Popular

Check Your Source


Table outlining differences between scholarly journals, popular magazines, and trade publications.

Check Your Sources

Scholarly Journal

  • 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  • Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not peer reviewed.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

Example Articles: Scholarly or Popular?

Article Types. Select the scholarly article.
Building spatial Skills in Preschool: 0 votes (0%)
The Design oa an Instructional Model Based on connetivism ... Real World Experience: 8 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 8

Video Comparison


Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines

scholarly article and popular article description

Scholarly vs. Popular

A scholarly and popular articles differ. Scholarly articles are written by experts in their fields and are the most reliable sources. Popular articles are written by journalists and not experts in one particular field.

  • Length for scholarly articles are sometimes 5-50 pages
  • Audience for scholarly articles are academics, college students, and scholarly audiences
  • Expertise for scholarly articles. written by academics, professors, specials, researchers
  • Peer-reviewed. Scholarly articles are peer-reviewed by authorities in a particular subject field that decide whether it is a credible piece of research.
  • Subjects. Scholarly articles are confined to a single, very specific aspect or a subject area.