Environmental Law: Journal Articles

ENVI 307/PSCI 317
Professor: David Cassuto
Fall 2020

Comparison of Popular Magazine and Scholarly Journal Articles

This table provides some criteria to help you distinguish between popular and scholarly sources. Look for a combination of factors to determine what type of source you have.

 

Popular Magazines

Scholarly Journals

Authority

  • Written by journalists/staff writers.
  • Name of writer may not be provided.
  • Author may not have any background in the subject area.
  • Written by scholars/researchers.
  • Name of writer always provided.
  • Author has conducted research and has educational background in the subject area.

 

Audience and Purpose

  • Read by the general public.
  • Written in easy to understand language.
  • Content is written to inform, entertain, or persuade readers.
  • Read by scholars and researchers.
  • Written with specialized vocabulary familiar to its readers.
  • Content is written to share and analyze results of research and debate issues in the subject area.

 

Depth

  • Tend to be short (less than 5 pages).
  • Provide overviews of the topic.
  • May be heavily illustrated with photographs.
  • Tend to be long (more than 10 pages).
  • Provide in-depth analysis of the topic.
  • May include graphs and charts of research data.

 

Sources

  • May mention reports and studies in the text, but do not provide a full citation.
  • Have a bibliography and/or footnotes/endnotes, allowing the reader to verify sources used.

 

Examples

 

Time
Time

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated

Glamour
Glamour

 

JAMA
JAMA

Human Rights Quarterly
Human Rights Quarterly

Film Quarterly
Film Quarterly

Research Tip: Find Text Button

The Find Text Button

Many of our databases have this SFX Find Text Button button, which searches for the full-text of the article in our collections. If we don't have it electronically, look for the "Request article scan" link in the "Get It" section.

screenshot of Get It section with link