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Articles - Popular or Scholarly?

This guide will help you distinguish among popular, trade, and scholarly articles.

Popular Checklist

Here is a quick checklist of criteria to help you determine if a resource is popular:

  • Article length is short (1-5 pages).
  • References/citations/footnotes? No.
  • Articles may be anonymous.
  • Use conversational vocabulary.
  • Use graphics for an eye-catching look.

Popular Magazine / News

  • print version typically colorful
  • typically published weekly, bi-weekly or monthly
  • contain ads for various products
  • articles typically range from paragraph to 5 pages
  • current events and news
  • articles typically written by journalists or freelance writers
  • may or may not include author's name or initials
  • language easy to understand for general readers
  • typically no citations/references
  • in an online database you may see these icons:


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