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Popular vs. Scholarly Resources

Knowing how to tell a scholarly resource from a popular one can help you find the best resources for your research projects and papers.

A thumbnail of the Popular vs. Scholarly Resources infographic
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Scholarly Resources:

  • Often referred to as academic or peer-reviewed journals and articles.
  • For books, you should easily find qualified reviews (New York Times Review of Books, Choice, Kirkus Reviews).
  • More comprehensive writing as they are written for professionals in the field.
  • Illustrations in articles are limited to tables and graphs.
  • Citations throughout of other works on the subject.
  • Any research conducted contains all methodologies and experiments conducted.

Popular Resources:

  • Magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites, social media are popular sources.
  • Written for general audience so they can be understood by anyone.
  • Many graphics, pictures, photographs or other illustrations.
  • Advertisements, website cookies, social plugins or third party apps.
  • Sources not always mentioned or may be anonymous and are never cited.
  • Research or study information is not provided in full or is not linked.