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ENGL 105, Academic Writing: "The Media Question" (Carl Peters): Introduction

English 105 - Fall 2019

Scholarly or Not?

Not all journals are created equal, and not all will be appropriate for every research need. Here are some characteristics of scholarly journals:

  • the authors are researchers or scholars - articles will typically include the author's institutional affiliation;
  • the articles reflect an-depth analysis of topics or report original research (theoretical, experimental or applied);
  • articles are often lengthy, and book reviews, if included, are substantial;
  • the language used reflects the technical vocabulary of the discipline (i.e., jargon); and
  • many are refereed or peer-reviewed.

For more information and additional characteristics, see Types of Periodicals.

Books are rarely peer-reviewed, which can make it more challenging to determine scholarly status. However, the following are common characteristics of scholarly books:

  • the authors or editors are researchers or scholars (you might need to look inside the book for information about the author, or you can try a Google search);
  • the publisher is often a university press (e.g., Oxford University Press, University of California Press) or an academic society (e.g., American Anthropological Association); and/or
  • the language used reflects the technical vocabulary of the discipline (i.e., jargon).


This guide has been developed as a general introduction to resources for English 105, Academic Writing taught by Dr Carl Peters. It is not a comprehensive listing of sources, but rather a starting point from which you can begin your research according to your information needs.

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