- Is the article from a mass media/popular magazine, a
substantive news source, or a scholarly journal?
- Can you tell who the intended audience of the
periodical is (general readers, experts, practitioners, etc.)?
- Is the purpose of the periodical to inform, educate,
persuade, entertain, sell, etc.?
- Does it have a particular editorial slant?
- Is the book published by an academic press or a
- If a commercial publisher, do they publish primarily scholarly
or popular books?
- To what domain does the site belong (edu, gov, org,
com, net, etc.), and is this information important for your assessment of
- Is the name of the individual or organization
responsible for the overall site provided? Is there a link to
information about their mission or purpose?
In general, popular sources do not
require extensive prior knowledge of a topic. Scholarly sources assume a
greater level of sophistication and knowledge on the part of the reader.