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ENG 106 Composition II : Scholarly vs The World

Know Your Article Type

Once you have gained some perspectives on your topic from books, the next place you may want to look for information is journal or magazine articles. Sometimes students begin their research with this step. If you are researching a topic you have some familiarity with, going straight for articles is an appropriate strategy. But keep an open mind about going back to more general sources to fill in any holes in your knowledge.

Most publications that come out with new issues on some timetable (librarians call them "periodicals") can be put into one of two broad categories: scholarly journals or popular magazines. These publications have some big differences, and the kinds of information you get from each of them will be different. 

As a general rule, your teachers will make it clear whether they expect you to use scholarly sources, popular sources, or a combination. If you have a question about whether a source you're considering is scholarly or popular, ask a librarian!