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SOCC34: Migrations & Transnationalisms

Fall 2023 - Dr. Patricia Landolt

Evaluating Sources

Use the seven criteria below to evaluate whether a source is scholarly or non-scholarly.

  Scholarly (Academic) Source Non-Scholarly (Popular) Source
Purpose
  • To share with other scholars the results of primary research & experiments.
  • To entertain or inform in a broad, general sense.
Author
  • A respected scholar or researcher in the field; an expert in the topic; names are always noted.
  • A journalist or feature writer; names are not always noted.
Publisher
  • A university press; a professional association or known (independent) scholarly publisher.
  • A commercial publisher; self-published.
Audience
  • Scholars or researchers in the field or those interested in the topic at a research level; university students.
  • General public.
Content
  • Formal presentation of scholarly work in a standard style; often an abstract at the beginning of the article. Articles may have section headings, such as literature review, methodology, results, discussion/further study.
  • Often presented in story format, with anecdotes from other people.
Style
  • Language is formal and technical; usually contains discipline-specific jargon.
  • Language is casual (high school reading level or lower). Few, if any, technical terms are used (and if they are, they are usually defined.)
References
  • Standard element; reference are always cited and expected; can also be called "works cited," or "bibliographies;" text often contains footnotes.
  • Very uncommon; text may contain vague referrals to "a study published at..." or "researchers found that..." with no other details about that information.

 

 

Adapted from the Valparaiso University Library.