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SOC 1 Moore  

Introduction to Sociology: Global Awareness Project
Last Updated: Oct 28, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Stephen Colbert's The Word: Wikiality


What is a Scholarly Article?

Scholarly articles are written by experts in the field and, additionally, reviewed by a panel experts in the field.  They include a lot of research and data, and the information in the article is backed up by a list of references.  They are published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.


People Magazine Cover
Popular articles are often written by journalists for a general audience and are not reviewed by experts in the field.  Popular articles rarely include references


Anatomy of a Scholarly Article


Evaluating Sources

Evaluating all sources

Check for signs of bias

Assess the argument

  • Is the author endorsing a particular political or religious view?
  • Are the associated with a special-interest group?
  • Are alternative views presented?
  • What is the authors central claim?
  • How do they support that claim?
  • Are their assumptions questionable?
  • Does the author consider opposing arguments?

Evaluating Web sources


Purpose  & Audience

  • Can you identify an author?  An "about us" link?
  • Are the author's credentials listed? 
  • Why was this site created:  To argue a position?  Sell a product?  Inform readers?
  • Who is the sites intended audience?



  • Who sponsors the site?
  • What does the URL tell you?  (.com, .edu, .org, .gov, or .mil?)
  • How current is the site?
  • How current are the sites links?

Source:  adapted from "Tips for Evaluating Sources" from Diana Hacker's Research and Documentation


What is a Scholarly Journal?


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