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*Cite and Analyze Business Information: Understanding Types of Business Articles

Scholarly Works

  • Report on original research or experimentation.
  • Written by scholars in the profession or someone researching in the field.
  • Assumes reader has knowledge of topic or issue.
  • Almost always cites their sources (look for references).
  • Are not as current as other publications listed on this page because of research involved, peer reviewing & publication timelines.
  • Almost always have abstracts and frequently charts/graphs.
  • Tend to be longer than 3 or 4 pages.
  • Sometimes are published by professional organizations.
Examples: Academy of Management Journal, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Research

Trade Journals

  • Provide more in depth information in a field or industry.
  • Usually are written by professionals in the field.
  • Contain both reporting and analysis.
  • Do not always have references but often cite in text.
  • Use terminology of that field or industry.
  • Can use charts and graphs.
  • May be published by professional organizations.
Examples: Beverage World, Industrial Management

General Business Press

  • Focuses on current concepts, issues and news related to various aspects of business.
  • Often written by editorial staff member or free lance writer.
  • Assumes some knowledge of business terminology, but not as much as for trade and scholarly journals.
  • Does cite sources except in text.
  • Often profile key individuals & corporations in stories or interviews.
  • Use graphics liberally, plus some charts and graphs.
  • Usually have brief articles ranging from 1 or 2 paragraphs to 1 to 3 pages.
  • Usually published for profit by a commercial entity or individual.
Examples: Business Week, Fortune, Forbes

Popular Works

  • Strive to entertain, sell products, or promote a viewpoint.
  • Provide an overview. Not useful for in-depth or much new info.
  • Are informative, not analytical.
  • May give second hand information with original source obscured.
  • Use short, well written articles in layperson language.
  • Use lots of graphics such as photos & charts.
  • Usually use article titles that are very broad, not specific.
Examples: U.S. News & World Report, Money, National Review


  • Give investigative stories that may be analytical, factual or fluff.
  • Provide more current news than in depth information.
  • Usually are published daily or weekly.
Examples: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times

News Wires

  • For a fee, News Bureaus make available press releases from organizations. Some News Bureaus are competitors such as AP (Associated Press) and Business Wire.
    • Clients include companies, labor unions, stock exchanges, trade associations, universities, philanthropic groups, and PR firms.
    • Business announcements include earnings, personnel changes, litigation, major contracts, new products, markets, etc.
    • Considered corporate hype but an invaluable source of information not otherwise seen because publishers only have space for top stories.  
Example News Bureaus: AP, Reuters, UPI (United Press International), Business Wire, PR Newswire, Dow Jones News Service (its stories often appear in Wall Street Journal)