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CRIM 203 (Historical Perspectives in Criminal Justice) Course Guide: Scholarly vs Magazines Explained

This guide helps you find ebooks and online resources, including primary sources, as you get started with your research. For additional help finding sources, ask a librarian!

What are Articles?

A periodical is anything that comes out with regular issues. Some examples include daily newspapers, weekly magazines, and monthly journals. 

Some periodicals are are "scholarly", "refereed", or "peer-reviewed." These words mean that the articles contained in the periodical are reviewed by experts in the subject. 

Articles are pieces of writing included with other articles in publications such as newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals.

There are significant differences between popular articles found in newspapers and magazines, and scholarly articles found in journals. Before you start your search for articles, it is important to know which type you need.

Your instructor may tell you that you need to use a certain number of scholarly journal articles for your assignment. But how can you be sure the articles you've found are scholarly journal articles?  

Use the table below to help you spot some of the differences between popular and scholarly articles.

  Scholarly Popular
Author A scholar or researcher. Author credentials are provided. Mostly journalists. Journalists are professional writers.
Intended audience Other experts. The general public.
Length 10-50 pages. Usually less than 10 pages.
Structure Articles are organized by headings. Articles tend to be written more like stories.
Language Language is often complex. Language is simple.
Sources An extensive list of sources is provided. No list of sources is provided. Sources are mentioned informally in the article.
Title of publication The title usually contains words such as: journal, annals, or review.  The title may include information about the subject of the magazine.
Publishing process Usually go through a process called "peer review." Other experts in the field evaluate the article.  Articles are reviewed by an editor.