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ENG 101/ENG107: General Research Papers, Persuasive Writing & Annotated Bibliographies

This guide will direct you to the best library resources for developing a topic, researching a topic, locating argumentative sources and understanding the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

Is it popular or scholarly?

 

Popular and scholarly literature can both be credible (that is, trustworthy and reliable against their implied objectives) and thus perfectly acceptable for college level research.  However, there are important differences. For example:

  Popular Sources Scholarly Sources
Purpose: Written to inform, entertain, or persuade Academic or scientific research, informative
Content: Broad subjects, general interest Original research or analysis; specific subject or discipline
Audience: General readership Specialists, scholars, professionals in a field
Author: Staff, freelance writers Experts, scholars
Format & Style: Short articles with photos or illustrations; everyday language; includes advertising Lengthy articles with tables, charts, graphs; technical language; little or no advertising
References: No bibliographic references; may refer to studies within text Documented research with footnotes and/or bibliography
Review Process: Reviewed by editor Peer-reviewed (or refereed) - reviewed by board of experts 
Examples: