How can you tell if an article is scholarly or from a magazine?
If you get your article from an online database, you can usually limit your results list to just scholarly journals. If you are using a print copy, here's some tips:
1. Scholarly journals report on original research and usually include charts, graphs and formulas. The articles are lengthy and usually have headings like method or methodology, results, and conclusion and include a bibliography. Examples of scholarly journals are American Journal of Education, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and Modern Fiction Studies.
2. Magazine articles are written to inform and entertain a general audience. They may be news magazines, sports interest, cultural and social news, or a variety of topics features. They usually have colorful covers, lots of photos and advertisements. Articles are usually brief but can be longer and they seldom have a bibliography. Examples of magazines are Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, and Popular Mechanics.
When researching an author you may need to use a variety of search terms or concepts:
- Biographical information
- Historical context
- Social context
Don't forget the value of using bibliographies and citation searching.
Use Google Scholar to locate articles that may be freely available or to locate other sources that may have cited your source.
You may be tempted to use Wikipedia to get quick information or an overview on a topic, but there are hazards in using an openly editable document for research. IF you choose to use Wikipedia, ALWAYS check the sources then use those sources instead --- it is always better to have the original source of the information.
A better way to locate brief overviews is to use one of the published encyclopedias that the Morgan Library subscribes to and are available here:
These resources also provide bibliographies or lists of other resources to help you locate more information. Encyclopedias are a great place to start your research.