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ENG102 - Writing II- Jason Pratt: Scholarly vs. Popular

This Guide will help walk you through your research paper assignment requiring critical analysis of one of the works of literature you have read this semester.

What is a scholarly article?

Scholarly vs Popular Periodicals


Professors often require that students include articles from scholarly, refereed or peer- reviewed journals as resources for their research papers.   These articles are authored by experts in their field and reviewed by peers before getting accepted for publication.  See below for a chart to help you distinguish between the two types of periodicals.



Popular Magazine

Scholarly Journal



General readership

Students, researchers, scholars, specialists in a particular subject


Popular language, geared towards the average reader

Specialized vocabulary of a subject discipline


Feature stories, reviews, editorials, may report research findings as news

Original research, theoretical issues, new developments in the subject discipline


Staff writers (not always named), freelance writers

Subject specialists named, degrees and academic affiliation usually given


Articles rarely include references or footnotes

Meticulously documented; extensive references and/or footnotes


Highly visual, lots of advertising and photos


Somber design, little advertising, mostly text with some graphs and tables

  Scholarly vs. Popular

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