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Literature: Scholarly Vs. Popular Sources

Scholarly Books

Need a "scholarly" book? What to look for:

  • Written by professors, researchers, or experts
  • May be collections of chapters by different authors
  • Published by university or scholarly presses like Oxford, or Norton
  • Written for academic--not popular--audiences
  • Citations of all primary sources or research

Scholarly Mimics

Not everything in academic journals is peer-reviewed. Avoid using these:

  • Editorial articles (opinions)
  • Reviews of new books
  • Subscribers' letters

Remember: book reviews and literary criticism are not the same things. Literary criticism is usually:

  • Peer-reviewed
  • Several pages long
  • Includes an abstract & bibliography or footnotes

Your professor is the ultimate judge of what you can use for your assignments!

Scholarly vs. Popular

SUNY Potsdam