F&M College Library

SPA 321: Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Literary Analysis


Identifying a source as scholarly or popular can often be tricky. Here are some things to look out for. Keep in mind, not all of these must be true in order to make a source scholarly or popular, and sometimes the elements overlap in both, but this is a good start to determining credibility. 

Scholarly Source  Popular Source
Peer-reviewed Newspaper or Magazine articles
Written by expert in the field Article displays ads
Contains the elements of an academic article (Abstract, Introduction, etc.) Written by a reporter or journalist
Includes references to other scholarly articles or data sets Contains cited sources

If you are still unsure if a source is credible (whether scholarly OR popular), remember to:

  • Google the Author
    • Has the author written other articles or books? 
    • Does the author have any expertise/a lot of experience in the field?
  • Google the Publication and look at the "About" page
    • ​Does the page indicate if the publication is peer-reviewed?
    • Does the publication have any major bias as determined by outside sources?

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