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Library Resources for STRIVE

This is the guide to the library session for the STRIVE students.

Video Explaining the Difference Between Scholarly and Popular Articles

From the Betty Sue Jessup Library, Piedmont Virginia Community College

What are scholarly articles?

REMINDER: For your assignment, you must find a journal article that is scholarly!


Characteristics of a Scholarly Journal Article

  • Author is an expert in the field. The author's credentials in the field are established, and they are likely affiliated with a scholarly institution and hold an appropriate degree in their field.
  • There is a lengthy bibliography at the end of the article.
  • Written for a scholarly audience in that field of study
  • Difficult for the general public to read and understand!
  • Published in scholarly journals


Scholarly Article Example

"Factors explaining alien plant invasion success in a tropical ecosystem"

What are popular articles?

REMINDER: For your assignment, you want to avoid popular articles.


Characteristics of a Popular Article

  • Usually appear in magazines, newspapers or non-scholarly journals (with lots of glossy, shiny pictures, and advertisements).
  • Typically written by journalists (not by experts in the field).
  • Written for a popular audience, easy to read and understand.
  • Might summarize or present research findings for the public, but the author is not doing original research in a lab.
  • Typically do not include a bibliography.


Popular Article Example

"Gecko Tail Has a Mind of Its Own"

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