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Classical Studies

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

There are a wide variety of sources available to you for your research, both through the Library and through the open web. These sources include books, newspapers, websites, films, magazines, journals, government documents, and many more. Conducting research at the college level often requires the use of authoritative, scholarly sources. An example of a scholarly source you'll use frequently throughout your studies is a scholarly, peer reviewed journal article.

A scholarly article differs greatly from a popular magazine article, and knowing how they differ will help you more easily differentiate between the two. The following chart compares scholarly journals to popular magazines and newspapers:

chart of differences between scholarly and popular


If you have access to the print versions of journals and magazines, you can see differences in their covers. Scholarly journals have plain covers, whereas popular magazines have flashy photographs and glossy covers:

Popular Magazine Covers:

magazine journal covers

Scholarly Journal Covers:

scholarly journal covers

Comparing types of articles

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