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COMM 2340 Media Law


Scholarly VS Non-Scholarly Sources





Scholarly Journals



Popular Magazines


Scholarly vs. Non-Scholarly Sources


  • Share results of research with other scholars
  • Broad appeal
  • Entertain
  • Sell products


  • Researchers
  • Academic faculty
  • Students 
  • General public


  • Scholars and researchers
  • Experts in the field
  • Journalist
  • Featured writers


  • Professional associations
  • University publishers
  • Scholarly commercial publishers
  • Commercial publisher


  • Basic layout
  • Usually black text on white paper
  • Tables or charts
  • Minimal subject-related advertising
  • Often printed on glossy paper
  • Colored text or headlines
  • Usually has accompanying photographs
  • Many advertisements. 

Article Acceptance

  • Peer-reviewed by experts in the field
  • Writers usually employed by magazine

Article Length

  • Often lengthy (approximately 10-30 pages) 
  • Often short (approximately 1-10 pages)

Article Language

  • College-level
  • Specialized vocabulary or jargon of the discipline 
  • Non-technical
  • Conversational/simple vocabulary 

Organization & References

  • Highly-structured
  • Include abstracts, review of literature, methodology, and citations to sources
  • Always contain a bibliography of references 
  • Loosely-structured
  • Rarely have bibliographies
  • Sometimes informally mention sources 


  • American Journal of Political Science
  • Policy Studies Review
  • Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report
  • Time 


From Cornell College's "A Guide to Evaluating Resources"

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Getting Full-Text

What to do if the library doesn't have access to the full-text of an article


 Get It 4 Me


Get It 4 Me is the library's interlibrary loan service and can help you get the full-text for articles you need, all at no cost to you! Submit a Get It 4 Me request and we'll find a library that has the full-text of the article and get a copy for you! Once we get a copy of the article, it will be sent to your email inbox as a PDF file, usually within 3 - 10 days. Make sure to request your article well ahead of the time you'll need it in case of delays.


How to Submit a
Get It 4 Me Request: