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Evaluating Sources: Articles

An overview of evaluating sources, including strengths of different source types.

Tutorials on Evaluating Sources

The following tutorials will help students to understand the value of the information they are finding.

Click Here for the ProQuest Research Companion tutorials.

Scholarly Articles

How can I tell a scholarly article from a popular journal?


Popular Scholary
Title Short, "catchy" Longer, more descriptive
Frequency of Publication
Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly  Monthly, quarterly, semi-annually 
Author No job title OR job title such as staff writer or freelance writer Accomanied by professional title affiliated with university and author's research field
Article Length
Short, usually one page Much longer, usually longer than three pages
Paper, Illustrations, Layout
Glossy paper; photos, illustrations, cartoons  Plain white, matte paper; no illustrations or color; mostly text except for graphs and charts 
Advertising Many ads for consumer products  Very few ads for other journals and academic job openings 
Audience Written for general public  Written for scholars in the field, researchers  
Writing style
Simple language and sentence structure  Jargon, complex sentence structure that conveys ideas and assumes some knowledge of the field
References No references listed  Long list of references at end of article and many in-text citations and footnotes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it scholarly?

Does your assignment require you to find scholarly, peer-reviewed or refereed articles?  If you are not sure what these are you may want to check out some of these sites: