The University of Alabama
Scholarly or Popular?
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Scholarly books, articles, and essays are usually the best kinds of sources to use for a college research paper so try to find as many of them as you can. Here are the major differences between scholarly and popular sources:

Scholarly

Popular

Reviewed by experts (peers) 
before publication

Not reviewed by experts

Expert author

Non-expert author

References

No references

Graphs, Charts, Statistics

Illustrations and photos

Published by university or association

Published by magazine, newspaper, commercial publisher

Strong argument

Weak argument

Few advertisements

Lots of advertisements

Formal and technical

Easy reading

Written for scholars or students

Written for the public

Examples: Psychology and Human Development, Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior

Examples: Time Newsweek, RollingStone, most Internet sites