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Popular Articles (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 Articles (Journals) (Peer Reviewed)
- Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)
- Uses 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
Some points to remember:
Both magazine and journal articles can be good sources for your work.
When selecting articles, think about how you intend to use the information:
Do you want background on a topic new to you? (use magazines)
Did your teacher say to cite scholarly resources? (use journals)
Often a combination of the two will be most appropriate for undergraduate research.