Non-Academic versus Academic Sources

I’m studying for my English class and need an explanation.

The “Books, Websites, or Journals? The Information Cycle” handout in the “Effective Library Research” module talks about “popular magazines” (like Time Magazine) and “scholarly journals” (like Political Science Quarterly). Both popular magazines and scholarly journals publish articles, but they are different types of articles. The articles in popular magazines are an example of a non-academic source (because they are written for a non-academic audience) and the scholarly journal articles are an example of an academic source (because they are written for academics/scholars/researchers).

For this forum post, we’ll look at an example of two different types of sources that are written on the same topic:

Read the sources. Then, write a 150-200 word post to address the following:

  • How would you classify the type of each source (academic or non academic)? How do you know?
  • Who is the author for each source? Who is the publisher? How would you characterize the credibility of each source?
  • What different types of information are you able to obtain from each source? How might you use or refer to these sources differently in a research paper? (Would you use all three of these sources in a research paper?)
  • Have you written an annotated bibliography in the past? What are the goals of annotated bibliographies? What tips do you have for your classmates to help them create effective annotations?


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