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ENGL 101 - English Composition I - Beam

Scholarly or Popular?

This chart briefly explains the different characteristics of articles
  Scholarly Journals Popular Magazines/Newspapers
Length of articles long, 5 - 50 pages short, 1 - 5 pages
Audience academics, professors, specialists in the field general readers 
Authority academics, researchers, scientists journalists, professional writers
Sources includes References or Works Cited  source material not usually included
Look for data, charts, tables, few ads photographs, commercial advertising
Frequency quarterly, annually  daily, weekly, 
Subject  single, specific aspect of a topic variety of topics, entertain or inform
Language specialized vocabulary conventional, high school level
Peer-review  reviewed by experts in the field editor, or staff, proofread 


Evaluate Sources Using the SIFT Method


  • Do you know the website?
  • What is its reputation?
  • What is your purpose?
  • How do you feel?
  • Consider cognitive biases.

Investigate the Source

  • What exactly is the source?
  • What can you find out about the website?
  • What about the author?
  • Is it worth your time?

Find Other Coverage

  • Is other coverage similar?
  • Can you find a better source?
  • One more trusted?
  • More in-depth?
  • What do expert sources agree on with coverage?

Trace to the Original Source

  • Can you find the original source?
  • What is the original context?
  • Has it been accurately presented?

SIFT Method - Standford Experiment

Lateral Reading