Popular and Scholarly Sources

Which Type of Source is Better?

At this point, you may be thinking that scholarly sources are better than popular sources. While this is a reasonable assumption, it is not the case. Many of the articles that Time or The New York Times have published are very well researched and written by people who have spent a lot of time fact checking their information. Many books that are considered popular have taken years for authors to write because of the amount of care and passion it takes to write them.

Scholarly sources are the preferred type of resource for academic (college-level) projects and papers because they have been through review by others working in the field of the author and because they are written for specialized audiences. These audiences are often other academics or students. Extensive amounts of citations, formally presented, are also a key component of scholarly works. Professors will often ask you to use these sources because they want to make sure that you are using the most advanced and technical information available.

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