What is a peer-reviewed journal article?
Articles in peer-reviewed journals are reviewed by a group of the writer's peers (aka other academics in his/her field) before the articles are published. You will almost always be required to use peer-reviewed journal articles for your university essays because they are considered authoritative.
A synonym for peer-reviewed is refereed.
You may also hear the term scholarly journal. Most journals defined as 'scholarly' are peer-reviewed but NOT all of them. (For example, a journal may have very academic content and be widely respected by the university community but not be peer-reviewed.) If you're not sure whether your instructor wants peer-reviewed articles or scholarly articles, be sure to ask him/her for clarification.
Why use peer-reviewed articles for your university essay?
Peer-reviewed journal articles are considered strong authoritative sources of academic information. Therefore, using this articles can help improve the quality of your essay.
How do I know if the article I've found is from a peer-reviewed journal?
Article databases will often let you limit to peer-reviewed journals. You can also check Ulrich's to make sure any article you've found is from a peer-reviewed journal. (Ulrich's is an online directory which will tell you whether a journal is peer-reviewed or not.)
Type the JOURNAL TITLE (not the article title) into the search box, and click search:
This is an example of a record in Ulrich's. "Refereed" is a synonym for "peer-reviewd"; Arab Studies Quarterly is a peer-reviewed journal:
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