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SOWK 410 Practice III: Scholarly V. Popular

Literature Review

For the assignment you will need to provide a literature review. 

Here are some links for you to check out. They have excellent content on how to do it.

Scholarly vs Popular video

This  is a 3:12 minute video from the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University that discusses scholarly vs popular. It also discusses trade magazine.

Scholarly Versus Popular Sources

For you assignment you will need to find scholarly articles from peer reviewed journals. So what is it?

Scholarly Journals:

  • somewhat dull looking - very few pictures or advertisements
  • written by experts in the field and reviewed by other scholars before publication
  • long articles with citations and bibliographies at the end


The goal of peer reviewed articles is to assess the quality of the articles. Peer reviewed articles are also known as refereed.  The articles are  reviewed by  experts in the field or referees prior to the publication of the material. Since the reviewers specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (hence “peer review”). After reading and evaluating the material, the referee informs the publisher if the article should be published or if any changes should be made prior to publication.  

Many article databases now allow you to limit your search to display only peer-reviewed (refereed) results. Use this option to eliminate guesswork and rest assured that your results are all from peer-reviewed sources.

Note: Not all scholarly articles are peer reviewed. So look for 'peer-reviewed' or 'refereed' to make sure.


Here are the basics: (Check out this handy dandy chart for more information!)

Popular Magazines/Newspapers:

  • glossy, pretty pages with lots of advertisements and pictures
  • written by hired reporters for a general audience
  • short, easily read articles

Check the Research Paper tab for additional information including an informative video.




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