Answered By: Scott Murray
Last Updated: Mar 01, 2017     Views: 33

Scholarly, or "peer-reviewed" sources, are written by scholars for other scholars and students in a particular field, and undergo an extensive review process (peer-review) before they are published.   For this reason, scholarly literature plays a central role in most academic disciplines, including history, the humanities, social sciences, and the hard sciences.  If your professor requires that you use scholarly publications for an assignment, understand that there is no substitute for this type of source.  If you have questions about whether or not a source is scholarly, ask your professor or librarian.

Most of the information sources we encounter on a day-to-day basis are written for a general audience.  Everyday sources of information are commonly referred to as "popular sources," and include magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites.  Popular sources vary greatly in terms of content and quality.  Some popular sources, such as The New Yorker and The Economist are written for educated audiences and feature thoughtful articles on social, political, and scientific topics.  Others, such as Cosmopolitan, Maxim, or the National Inquirer are written entertainment purposes, and often contain information that is sensationalistic and even questionable in nature.  Most popular sources include attractive pictures and graphics.  They are widely available (most of them can be found at bookstores, newsstands, and supermarkets) and relatively inexpensive to purchase.  

 

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