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McFarlin Library Instructional Services: Scholarly vs Popular Articles
You may be required to include articles from scholarly journals for some class assignments. You should understand the difference between scholarly and popular articles. This guide will help you understand how to identify and tell the difference between popular and scholarly articles.
What is the difference between scholarly and Popular articles?
Popular vs. Scholarly Articles
What is the difference between popular and scholarly articles?
Popular Articles (Magazines)
Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
Use language easily understood by general readers
Rarely give full citations for sources
Written for the general public
Tend to be shorter than journal articles
Scholarly Articles (Journals)
Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)
Uses scholarly or technical language
Tend to be longer articles about research
Include full citations for sources
Are often refereed or peer reviewed (articles are reviewed by an editor and other specialists before being accepted for publication)