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SHB PSYCH Courses: Recognizing Scholarly Articles

Tiffany Wilhelm

Identifying popular, trade & scholarly sources








Identified sometimes

Often a journalist

No prescribed format

Length varies

Uses everyday language

Graphics/photos designed to draw interest

Of interest to a wide, general audience


Identified usually

Credentials sometimes (~Professional)

No prescribed format

Length varies

Common language or language of the trade

Graphics/photos designed to draw interest

Of interest to those employed in or following the field

     Scholarly      (peer-reviewed)

Always identified

Academic credentials usually present

Usually: abstract, intro, discussion, references *


More scholarly language

Detailed charts or graphs to show data, research findings

Of interest to other scholars

Narrow focus


* Format of Scholarly Articles in the Sciences

Look for the following elements in articles you find.  Research articles contain most or all of these sections.  Look in particular for a "methods" section.

  • Abstract: A summary of the article
  • Introduction and statement of the problem
  • Hypothesis
  • Experimental methods & materials
  • Data collection
  • Analysis
  • Results, conclusions, recommendations for further research
  • List of sources used
  • Date of submission, revision, and acceptance