Some general guidelines for identifying popular and scholarly articles:
- do not list the author’s credentials
- are written with the general public as the intended audience
- are written by journalists
- do not contain citations
- have few or no listed references
- are often colorful and full of images
Example: "Are you on facebook? A week-long diary chronicling what's doing with books on the Web's second largest social network"
If you look at this article in Publisher's Weekly, you
will notice that it does not list the author's credentials. This article
also begins with the quote "Myspace is over, it's just not cool
anymore," which indicates that the article is written in a more casual
style to appeal to the general public. Throughout the article, you will
find no in-text citations and you will find no references at the end of
the article. Finally, if you look at this article as a PDF, you will
notice that it is colorful and uses many images. All of these elements
point to this article being a popular, rather than scholarly article.
- often use tables, charts, and graphs
- use original research
- are written for experts and by experts
- show the author's credentials
- use professional language
- often have abstracts of the article
See You On “Facebook”: The Effects of Computer-Mediated Teacher
Self-Disclosure on Student Motivation, Affective Learning, and Classroom
If you look at the full-text pdf of this article, you will notice
that the first page begins with an abstract of the article and lists the
authors' credentials at the bottom. Throughout the article you will
notice a professional writing style, in-text citations, and tables. At
the end of this article there is a list of references. All of these
elements signify that this is a scholarly, rather than popular, article.
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