Answered By: Josh Weber
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2018     Views: 75

Here are the main difference between a scholarly source and a popular source


  Scholarly Sources Popular Sources
Audience Scholars, researchers, practitioners General public
Authors Experts in the field (i.e., faculty members, researchers)

Articles are signed, often including author's credentials and affiliation

Journalists or freelance writers

Articles may or may not be signed

Footnotes Includes a bibliography, references, notes and/or works cited section Rarely includes footnotes
Editors Editorial board of outside scholars (known as peer review) Editor works for publisher
Publishers Often a scholarly or professional organization or academic press Commercial, for profit
Writing Style Assumes a level of knowledge in the field

Usually contains specialized language (jargon)

Articles are often lengthy

Easy to read - aimed at the layperson

Articles are usually short, and often entertain as they inform

General Characteristics Primarily print with few pictures

Tables, graphs, and diagrams are often included

Usually few or no advertisements

Often have "journal," "review," or "quarterly" as part of the title

Usually have a narrow subject focus

Contains ads and photographs


Often sold at newsstands or bookstores

Usually have quite a broad subject focus

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