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Identify and Evaluate Sources

101 help to identify types of sources and evaluate them

Main Characteristics

  • Authors - scholars, professors at colleges, universities, or institutions, sometimes referred as academics
  • The content is the description of the research results
  • Articles' structure includes includes abstract, keywords, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion
  • Language is intensely academic, specialized, often considered jargon, used in a scholarly discipline
  • Footnotes, endnotes, and/or in-text citations, and a bibliography, works cited list, or list of references. A standard citation style accepted by the field. 
  • Audience - scholars in the field. 
  • Few advertisements; those it contains are often for books or other journals potentially of interest to the scholars who read the journal. 
  • Can be peer-reviewed or "refereed" by other experts on the subject to verify the reliability of the research the author presents.
  • Purpose: communicating research findings; education



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  • Purpose: entertain, persuade, inform
  • Authors - professional writers, often freelancers, journalists, and in many cases no author is named for an article. 
  • Articles seldom have reference lists, foot- or endnotes, or in-text citations. 
  • Audience - the general public or specific dimorphic.
  • Writing is generally easy to read and jargon-free.
  • The title is usually descriptive of the content of the magazine, or it might be catchy. 
  • Extensive advertisements, for a wide range of products that might appeal to the readers.
  • Articles are not peer-reviewed. It is edited in-house by professional staff or not at all

Visual appearance

  • Bright, glossy, eye-catching cover
  • Articles short to medium length
  • Lots of advertising for general consumer products
  • Colorful photos and illustrations.



  • News, commentary, information in a particular professions and industry.
  • Authors - staff members at the publication or other professional writers, often freelancers. 
  • Articles might have short reference lists, but there are often no footnotes or in-text citations within articles. 
  • The audience is people who follow or work in a certain trade, industry, or profession, or who belong to an organization.
  • Language of articles often contains the terminology of the field. 
  • Advertisements are often glossy and in color and feature industry equipment and information. 

Visual Appearance

  • May have a bright, glossy cover that varies from issue to issue
  • Title usually includes the name of the industry or profession
  • Articles short to medium length—rarely longer than a few pages
  • Article types include industry news, opinion, practical advice, product reviews.



Peer - Review

A peer reviewed or peer refereed journal or article is one in which a group of widely acknowledged experts in a field reviews the content for scholarly soundness and academic value.

To Sum Up

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