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Sociology: Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

An introduction to databases and other resources for sociology research

Components of a Scholarly Article

Searching for scholarly article

The different parts of a scholarly article

What is a scholarly article? Read this Wikipedia article for the answer. 

Does the Wikipedia article highlight some of the characteristics below?

Scholarly Journal Characteristics

  • Lengthy articles written by experts or scholars for an expert, academic audience (faculty, graduate students, researchers) in a particular field.  
  • Employ a formal, scholarly or technical writing style utilizing a vocabulary that requires some degree of subject knowledge. 
  • The author’s expertise is usually given near the beginning or at the end of the article and an abstract is included. 
  • Sources are credited in footnotes and/or a bibliography. 
  • Often reviewed by an author’s peers before publication. 
  • Purpose of the publication is to share information. Articles are based on original research and experimentation in science or social science or are the writings, criticism and reviews of scholars in the humanities. 
  • Published by academic presses, professional associations, or universities. Any advertisements are usually for books, journals, or conferences. 

Popular Magazine Characteristics 

  • Short articles written by professional writers to entertain or inform a general audience. 
  • Articles are written in an informal, journalistic writing style usually aiming at a fifth grade reading level. 
  • The author’s credentials are not usually indicated 
  • Sources are rarely documented. 
  • Purpose of the publication is to make money. 
  • Published by commercial presses and contain many advertisements 

This video describes the anatomy, or different parts, of a scholarly article. By the end of the video you should be able to quickly determine whether an article is scholarly or not.