Scholarly vs. nonscholarly

At some point in your time at Marygrove, your professors will ask you to locate scholarly articles for an assignment. Make sure you know what that means! Take a look at the comparison table and examples below, or watch this video (1:32) courtesy of Rebeca Befus at Wayne State University.

Scholarly articles
(also called 'academic' or 'peer-reviewed')

Nonscholarly articles
(also called 'popular')
  • are intended for a professional audience in a particular field and usually appear in specialized publications; they are usually written in technical or academic language
  • are intended for a general audience and appear in newspapers and general interest magazines
  • give a highly focused, in-depth treatment of the subject matter at hand and usually report on research or best practices in the profession
  • usually do not go in-depth on the topic at hand and are broader in scope
  • are written by experts in a particular field; the qualifications of the author (degrees or titles held) should be noted, usually on the first or last page of the article; also, the author should be associated with an appropriate institution, such as a university, government agency, or educational organization
  • are usually written by professional writers who may have no special qualifications in the subject area on which they are writing; the author’s name may not even be included
  • are well documented and contain footnotes or references
  • usually do not offer footnotes or reference
  • are usually quite long (10 pages or more)
  • are normally not longer than 4-5 pages.

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