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ENGL 101 - English Composition I - Katzoff

Know Your Needs for This Assignment

One Scholarly Article

Professors use a lot of different phrases to describe a specific set of publications. Whether they call it Academic or Scholarly, what they frequently mean is that they want you to find articles by researchers that have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. These articles are mainly written by people who work or teach (and thus are considered "scholars") in their respective fields and contain original research on very specific topics within their field.

Scholarly Image Text
  • Authors might list their degrees or credentials and usually say where they work (ex. Courtney Ward-Sutton, PhD, CRC, Natalie F. Williams, PhD, CRC, BCBA, Rehabilitation and Research and Trainging Center, Langston Universtity, Langston Oklahoma; Independent Researcher, Oklahoma, USA)
  • Citations are used throughout the article to show where researchers found their information (ex. at end of sentence, in parentheses: Onwuegbuzie & Frels, 2016) 
  • Publication titles often (but not always!) say “Journal” in their name (ex. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling)
  • Length is usually over 10 pages (ex. pages 115 to 133 as stated in the database record)
  • You can easily check if the journal is Peer-Reviewed in the databases by clicking on the journal title, which will bring up details about the publication. A field in the record says Yes or No after Peer-Reviewed. 

described by details of Scholarly Image Text

One Website

Often it is simply more accessible to read the thoughts on a topic from someone who is either educated in the field or from a publication dedicated to a specific area. You may also need information about current events. This is where magazines, newspapers, and websites start to show some promise as resources since they are able to publish information more quickly than it would appear in more formal literature. You still want to be sure you are getting information from an appropriately scholarly source that provides in-depth discussion. 

Web Image Text
  • Publication or Website names hint at topics covered (ex. the publication Nature or the website Urban Institute)
  • References are often given informally through a mention or a link, but may not be given at all. Examples include:
    • Quote: "In April, the UK Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre estimated that 35% of people in intensive care with COVID-19 are black, Asian or members of other minority ethnic groups, nearly triple their proportion in the UK population."
    • Quote with link in parentheses at end: "A preliminary study published on a preprint server (Wu, X. et al. Preprint at medRxiv; 2020) linked exposure to an increased likelihood of dying from COVID-19."
    • Words "revealed an alarming trend" are hyperlinked
    • Words "social detriments of health" are hyperlinked
  • Author bylines or biographies often list accomplishments or other publications. (ex. Harriet A. Washington is the author of several books, most recently A Terrible Thing To Waste: Environmental Racism And Its Assault On The American Mind., clicking on Kilolo Kijakazi's name links to a biography pegging her as an expert and Institute Fellow)
  • Published Date is often from the same time period that related to the topic is being most discussed (ex. Articles published in April and May of 2020 referring to the pandemic)

described in details of Web Image Text

Additional Resources "appropriate for academic work"

Regardless of where you find the information you need to critically examine the work and to ask relevant questions about where this is coming from, the context in which is it being shared, and how appropriate it is for what you need. In the answergarden box below, write something that would make you think a source is "appropriate for academic work".

Examples of Needs and Matching Sources

It doesn't matter if you can find a quality source if you aren't able to identify whether that source fits your information needs. By interpreting your assignment and taking a step back to think about your needs, you will be able to evaluate what you have found to determine its relevance to your needs. 

You need... Look for...
general information sources that provide overviews to help you gain understanding
opinions on a topic sources that share points of views on a topic
facts to support your statements research articles, data sources, or statistical resources
specific examples first-person narratives or case studies
an expert's take scholarly research articles, books, or other works written by someone who has demonstrated expertise
the latest information newspapers or websites