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Writing Studies & Composition II - Spring, 2018: Home

Scholarly vs. Popular Materials

Element Scholarly Popular
Author Scholars with credentials in a specialized field Journalists, staff or freelance writers
Audience Scholars, experts, researchers, students of the discipline Members of the general public
Publication procedure Refereed; peer reviewed; juried; blind reviewed  Edited
Publisher Published by an organization or association in the field or a university Published by a commercial publisher
Frequency of publication Usually published three or four times a year More frequent—daily, weekly or monthly
Structure Title, abstract, introduction, review of literature, methods, findings, discussion, conclusion, notes, and bibliography/works cited Little or no citations; Format varies
Style Formal Varies—often conversational or entertaining
Support of argument Based on prior documented research (review of the literature) Confirmed sources; Opinion
Purpose To advance knowledge in the field To inform, persuade, or entertain; make profit
Scope Limited to field of study Often addresses broad interests
Appearance Plain, sometimes with graphs, tables, maps or photographs Glossy photos and advertising
Access Subscription only; May be available as open access material from scholarly/educational/research  organization/association/institution Subscription; Available for purchase at newsstands, bookstores, etc.

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