Differences Between Non-Scholarly and Scholarly Resources
|Non-Scholarly (Popular)||Scholarly (Academic)|
|Author||Journalist, layperson, or sometimes unknown||Expert (scholar, professor, etc.) in field being discussed|
|Notes||Few or no references/footnotes available||Includes notes and/or bibliography|
|Style||Written for the average reader||Written for experts, uses subject-specific jargon, shows research|
|Editing||Reviewed by people at the publisher||Reviewed by editorial board of outside scholars (peer review)|
|Audience||General public, people in stores/online||Scholars and researchers in the field|
|Advertising||Many ads, often in color||Few or none; if there are any, they are for other scholarly materials|
|Look||Eye-catching/interesting design, many pictures, color||Plain, utilitarian, black and white, tables and charts|
|Contents||Current events, general interest||Specialized research topics only|
|Sample Titles||The New Yorker, The Washington Post, National Geographic||Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Environmental Law|
"The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing" - The Atlantic, "Iowa City to launch a year of temporary sculpture installations" - The Daily Iowan
|"Highly Efficient Reprogramming to Pluripotency and Directed Differentiation of Human Cells with Synthetic Modified mRNA" - Cell Stem Cell, "How Long is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension" - Science|
There are a few ways to find popular press articles.
Scholarly writing is typically evidence-based, formal writing that addresses a specific research topic. It is written by experts in their fields for other people in the field and includes citations and references.
Reading a scholarly article can be a little intimidating! They follow a unique format and can be quite lengthy. Use this guide to help get a quick understanding of the article before you invest your time in reading the entire piece.
Undergraduate Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for use or adaptation of materials. Used with permission. Original image at https://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=348324&p=2351069.