Popular vs. Scholarly
- Are written for anyone to understand
- They contain many glossy, color photographs and advertisements
- The authors are generalists or journalists
- The articles are usually short, cover a wide range of topics, and do not have bibliographies or references
You may be familiar with these magazines: GQ, Glamour, People, Rolling Stone, and Time.
- Are written for scholarly readers such as researchers, professionals in a field, and students
- They are usually made up of black & white text, and have charts, graphs, tables, and figures to support the text
- The authors are experts in their fields
- The articles are generally long and in-depth, containing case studies and research, and often include bibliographies or references
Some examples of scholarly journals are: Educational Research Quarterly, The Journal of the American Chemical Society, The Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, and Nursing Science Quarterly. Notice that a clue that a publication might be scholarly can sometimes be found in the title— look for "Journal," "Research," "Review" or "Quarterly."
Side-by-side, you can see the obvious differences between popular and scholarly sources! When conducting research you want to use scholarly sources instead of popular ones.
Watch the brief video below for a more detailed description of the differences between a popular source and a scholarly source.