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ENG 107 - College Composition II

Library Instruction for Spring 2022

Identifying Scholarly Sources Video Tutorial

View the video tutorial below for information on identifying scholarly sources. Peruse the example scholarly sources to get a picture of what real sources look like. Below that, you will find a comparison of the different identifiers of scholarly sources and how they may appear in trade and popular sources.

Example Scholarly Sources

Note: If you are off-campus, you will need to login to view these sources.

Comparison of Scholarly, Trade, & Popular Sources





Authors/Contributors Experts in a particular subject of study, like a Ph.D., researcher, or other scholar with educational credentials Professionals or experts in the field Journalists who are not necessarily experts in a specific subject area
Citations/Sources Always present, with footnotes and/or a bibliography Sometimes present, depends on the publication Rarely present
Review Process Peer review or refereed process wherein other scholars evaluate the content, format, grammar, and language Review by editorial staff, including for grammar and language, sometimes a peer review process is used depending on the publication Reviewed by editorial staff, including for grammar and language


Original research, review of books relevant to scholars in the discipline

Practical information for professionals, including news and trends

Brief articles on a variety of general interest topics like sports, fashion, art, etc.


Very technical, it is usually assumed that the reader is familiar with such language

Generally straightforward language, but may include technical jargon

Simple language accessible to any reader


To make information available to the rest of the scholarly world and to make theoretical and practical advancements in their field

To report on trends in the profession and provide practical advice to other professionals

To entertain, share news, promote a viewpoint, or sell a product

Visual Appearance

Few frills (like pictures or glossy pages), articles may include graphs or tables, no ads

In between scholarly and popular, with some visual frills, and ads are usually related to the profession

Bright and attention-grabbing, including pictures, graphics, and various ads


New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, American Journal of Nursing

Social Work Practice, Professional Nurse, Medscape

Rolling Stone, Readers Digest, Sports Illustrated, Vogue


Chart design inspired by Colorado State University Libraries, Springfield Township Virtual Library, Hunter Library at Western Carolina University, and Cornell University Libraries.


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