Scholarly books, articles, and essays are usually the best kinds of sources to use for a college research paper. Here are some of the major differences between scholarly and popular sources:
- Are written by scholars in a particular field
- Have bibliographies and/or cite sources
- Present articles based on research by authorities in a field (not personal opinions)
- Use a specialized vocabulary
- Are often "peer reviewed" or approved by a group of experts
- Are targeted toward a general audience
- Often have a great deal of advertising
- Rarely include references to other works
- Are written by journalists and staff writers
- May include opinions on current issues
|Scholarly Sources: Article Titles
||Popular Sources: Article Titles
- Tend to be more specific
- May be longer than magazine article titles
- Describe the subject being discussed
- Sustainable Transport for the Developing World: The Social and Environmental Nexus
- Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated With Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
- Try to catch the reader's attention
- Are often short and witty
- May sound like a newspaper headline
- Will Bush Turn Green?
- Taking Aim at the Brady Law
- Will Education Be Bushwhacked?
Scholarly publications often have titles that include words like: journal, quarterly, studies, review, bulletin, or society.
The title isn't always a dead giveaway, though. Please see What are peer reviewed journal articles and how would I find them? for some additional tips.