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Popular vs. Scholarly Sources: Compare and Contrast

Popular Journals

Popular Articles aka 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 Journals

Scholarly aka Peer-reviewed Articles

Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)

Use 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)

Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly articles, even when found in scholarly journals

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