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Education Leadership & Administration

A guide for GSEHD graduate students in the Education Leadership & Administration courses

What is the Difference Between Scholarly and Popular Sources?

Popular Sources

  • Examples include: newspapers and magazines like The Washington Post or The Economist.
  • Written by journalists. Journalists are good writers and researchers, but they are not necessarily experts in the topic they are writing about. 
  • Written for a broad audience. 
  • Editors determine what is published. 

Peer Reviewed (sometimes called Scholarly or Academic

  • The critical distinction is that articles are evaluated by other experts before they are considered for publication.
  • Examples include journals like Nature or The Journal of Sociology.
  • Written by experts
  • Written for other experts in the discipline and also students.
  • Include citations, like footnotes and a bibliography.

Scholarly Sources

  • Scholarly or academic sources are also written by experts in their field, but they are not necessarily evaluated by other experts before being published.  
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