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Honors Orientation Web Companion

Source Types

Scholarly Checklist

Characteristics of a
Scholarly Article:

  Advertisements: few, if any

    Appearance: plain black and white, charts, graphs

    Audience: professors, researchers

   Author: scholar, academic, expert (hint...look for credentials like Ph.D.)

  Documentation: footnotes, bibliographies, works cited

  Language: specialized vocabulary

  Publisher: university press, research institutes, scholarly press, professional organizations

  Purpose/Intent: original research, methodology, theory

Source Types Exercise

In class we explored different source types that you will encounter during your college careers: books, scholarly articles, popular articles and media.  Review the slides that we presented following the exercise:

Scholarly vs. Popular

Distinguish Between Scholarly and Popular Sources... choose the correct sources for your research.

Scholarly Popular
  • Author: subject expert or scholar
  • Appearance: text-heavy, with illustrations or data displayed in tables or charts
  • Content: based on original research, peer-reviewed (delays publication but increases quality)
  • Citations: includes a reference list or bibliography
  • Author: non-expert or journalist
  • Appearance: flashy, prominent images are common
  • Content: based on personal experience or second-hand information, up-to-the-minute, current information
  • Citations: lacks a reference list or bibliography


 Found an article and you're not sure if it is scholarly or not?  Learn more about distinguishing scholarly articles in
How do I Know if an Article is Scholarly?


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