Self-Paced Tutorials:
Scholarly vs. Popular Articles




  • The Yale Journal of Criticism
  • Journal of Modern Language
  • Reviews in American History
  • Quarterly Journal of Speech


  • PC World
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Rolling Stone
  • Newsweek


  1. Articles are generally longer (usually more than 5 pages)
  2. Often have "journal" or "review" or "quarterly" as part of the title.
  3. Text-oriented; few photographs or illustrations.
  4. Articles intended for an expert, academic audience.
  5. Articles have many footnotes and/or a bibliography.
  6. Hard copy seldom has advertising.


  1. Articles are generally short (1 to 5 pages)
  2. Catchy familiar titles usually available at newsstands or bookstores.
  3. "Glossy"; many photographs, advertising, and other graphics.
  4. Articles intended to entertain a general audience. 
  5. Articles seldom document the research involved.
  6. Hard copy has a lot of advertising. 

Indexes (Examples)

  • Academic Search Complete (check the "Scholarly Peer Reviewed Journals" link)
  • Business Source Premier
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • PsycInfo

Indexes (Examples)

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Evaluating Journal and Magazine Articles: Scholarly or Popular?

The following are a list of full-text articles about the effects of television violence.

On a separate sheet of paper, use the six criteria listed above to answer the following questions for each article.

  • Is the article scholarly or popular?
  • Why? List several reasons or criteria to support your decision.

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Please direct inquiries about this page to Dale Vidmar.