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McFarlin Library Department of Instruction & Research: Scholarly vs Popular Articles

Scholarly vs. Popular vs. Industry

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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)



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Lisa Grimes
McFarlin Library
The University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St.
Tulsa, OK 74104-3123
(918) 631-5401