What might you find in a scholarly article?
In academic research, it is important to distinguish between scholarly and popular (non-scholarly) sources. While one can argue the value of both, the scholarly sources are the ones that are usually preferred when doing academic research.
The following is a table comparing the general characteristics of these two types of sources:
|Contents||In-depth, original research, usually undergoes peer review process||Current events, popular topics, interviews|
|Author||Scholars, academic, experts in the field||Journalists, may or may not be experts in the field|
|Audience||Professors, researchers, experts in the field||General public|
|Language||Specialized vocabulary||Simple language|
|Citations||Footnotes, bibliographies, works cited||Sources rarely cited|
Created by Zoe Weinstein, Academic Outreach Librarian for the Humanities, Brandeis University
Outline of Chart:
Is This Article Relevant To My Research? A Guide to Skimming
Step 1: Read the Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the article. By reading this, you can get a sense of the content, The scope of the research, the author's methodology, and the academic level of the article.
Step 2: Read the Conclusion: Authors usually repeat their main ideas and their final findings in the conclusion. This will give you an overview of the article and help determine if it is relevant to your research.
Step 3: Read the First Paragraph of the Introduction: This is usually where an author lays out their plan for the rest of the article. This can help you determine which sections of the article you should read in full.
Step 4: Read the First Sentence of Every Paragraph: This first sentence (or topic sentence) will convey the main idea for that paragraph. See something interesting? Read the rest.
Step 5: The Rest of the Article: Now that you've determined what's most important, remember to at least browse the rest of the article!
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