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How To...Identify Scholarly Information

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The purpose can be:

Scholarly - to share new discoveries or analyses with other experts in that subject; should be objective (it may support a particular side, but with documentation and fair consideration of the other side)

Popular- to inform or educate about a topic, event, or issue; to entertain; might be biased


Identify the Purpose

Some places to look to determine a source's purpose:

Books: Check the preface, introduction, or back of the book

Magazines and Newspapers: What section is it in?  News, Style, Opinion, Letters to the Editor?

Journals: Check the abstract at the beginning of the article.

Websites: Check the website's "About Us" section to find out the purpose or mission of the site.  The domain (e.g., .com, .edu, .org, .gov) can also help determine the purpose of the site.