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ENGL 101 - The Annotated Bibliography Assignment - Prof. Stewart

Popular vs. Scholarly Sources



  • Broad range of topics, presented in shorter articles
  • Specific, often narrowly focused topics in lengthy, in-depth articles
  • Articles offer an overview of subject matter; reportage, rather than original research; sometimes contain feature articles and reports on current social issues and public opinion
  • Articles often contain previously unpublished research and detail new developments in the field
  • Intended to attract a general readership without any expertise or advanced education
  • Intended for the specialist readership of researchers, academics, students, and professionals
  • Written by staff (not always attributed) or freelance writers using general, popular language
  • Written by specialists and researchers in the subject area, usually employing technical, subject-specific language and jargon
  • Edited and approved for publication in-house (not peer-reviewed)
  • Critically evaluated by peers (fellow scholars) in the field for content, scholarly soundness, and academic value
  • Articles rarely contain references or footnotes and follow no specific format
  • Well-researched, documented articles nearly always follow a standard format: abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography/references
  • Designed to attract the eye of potential newsstand customers: usually filled with photographs or illustrations, printed on glossier paper
  • Sober design: mostly text with some tables or graphs accompanying articles; usually little or no photography; negligible, if any, advertising; rarely printed on high-gloss paper
  • Each issue begins with page number '1'
  • Page numbers of issues within a volume (year) are usually consecutive (i.e., the first page of the succeeding issue is the number following the last page number of the previous issue)
  • Presented to entertain, promote a point of view, and/or sell products
  • Intended to present researchers' findings and conclusions based on original research
  • Examples: Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vogue
  • Examples: American Sociological ReviewJournal of Popular Culture, Sustainable Agriculture




























From: UC Santa Cruz University Library

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Video Source: Carnegie Vincent Library

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