Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research at CSU-Pueblo

Popular, Professional, & Scholarly

We can also categorize information by the expertise of its intended audience. Considering the intended audience—how expert one has to be to understand the information—can indicate whether the source has sufficient credibility and thoroughness to meet your need. There are varying degrees of expertise:

Popular—Popular newspaper and magazine articles (such as The Washington Post, the New Yorker, and Rolling Stone) are meant for a large general audience, are generally affordable, and are easy to purchase or available for free. They are written by staff writers or reporters for the general public.

Additionally, they are:

Professional—Professional magazine articles (such as Plastic Surgical Nursing and Music Teacher) are meant for people in a particular profession, and are often accessible through a professional organization. These can also be referred to as Trade Publications. Staff writers or other professionals in the targeted field write these articles at a level and with the language to be understood by everyone in the profession. 

Additionally, they are:

Scholarly—Scholarly journal articles (such as Plant Science and Education and Child Psychology) are meant for scholars, students, and the general public who want a deep understanding of a problem or issue. Researchers and scholars write these articles to present new knowledge and further understanding of their field of study.

Additionally, they are:

See Scholarly Articles as Sources for more detail.

Activity: Popular, Professional, or Scholarly?

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