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Northwest Missouri State University

Library Home » Articles & Guides » Types of Articles

Types of Articles

Periodical articles can be published in magazines or journals or newspapers.  Each type is cited differently, so use this chart for identification:
Advertising  popular products few advertisements popular products
Audience  general public academics, students general public
Author  staff or popular writer academic researcher/writer journalist
Content  general information research findings & ideas news & information
Frequency   weekly or monthly (BI)monthly or quarterly daily or weekly
Length  short long short
Reading Level  high school or lower undergraduate to graduate high school or lower
References  none or minimal fully documented none or minimal
Title Words  magazine, weekly journal, report, quarterly herald, register, tribune
National Geographic
People Weekly
Journal of Economic Issues
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Technology Review
New York Times
Kansas City Star
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Try a Quiz!

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Other types of articles:

Advertising trade products few advertisements
Audience professionals academics, students
Author expert in the field or occupation academic researcher/writer
Content targeted to occupational audience evaluated by peers prior to publication
Reading Level high school to college undergraduate to graduate
References some, not consistent fully documented
EXAMPLES: Progressive Grocer
ABA Banking Journal
Journal of the American Medical Assoc.
Journal of American History

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Articles in popular magazines like Vogue or Sports Illustrated contain information written for the general public. These sources may be appropriate to use in an academic paper, depending on the topic and focus. Magazines can be useful for introductory reading about the topic or for collecting fast facts.
Newspapers provide a journalistic perspective on a specific time and place, including local and regional news. Reliable news stories are based on eye witness' perceptions of what happened.
Peer-Reviewed/Refereed Journals:
Articles published in refereed journals are controlled by an editorial board following a formal process of peer review by experts in the subject area covered. The information therefore has a high level of quality, credibility, and reliability.
Academic journal articles are often longer than popular magazine articles. They may or may not be peer-reviewed before publication. Journals with fully documented references are more scholarly than those that don't include a bibliography or list of references.
Trade Periodicals:
Trade publications specialize in news and information for professionals in a certain occupation. They are a credible source if written by experts with knowledge of the subject area.

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QUIZ: Answer which type of periodical is?

  • Social Science Computer Review, Spring 2007, v25 i1, p78-98 Hughes, Lorine A.; DeLone, Gregory J.
         a) popular magazine?  b) academic, scholarly journal?  c) newspaper

  • Computer Reseller News, June 26, 2000 p40 Security Threads. (unsigned article)
         a) popular magazine?  b) academic, scholarly journal?  c) newspaper

  • Computer Shopper, July 2000 p236 Cover Your Assets - Fending Off Hackers Requires a Mix of Firewall Technologies. Art Brieva.
         a) popular magazine?  b) academic, scholarly journal?  c) newspaper

  • Time, December 18, 2006, v168 i25, pA16. Hackers for Hire. Amanda Bower.
         a) popular magazine?  b) academic, scholarly journal?  c) newspaper

  • The New Republic, May 1, 2000 p16 Preparing for Cyberterrorism--Badly. John Arquilla.
         a) popular magazine?  b) academic, scholarly journal?  c) newspaper

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  1. Do the author's credentials qualify him or her to write about your topic? Why?
  2. Are there references (bibliography or works cited) listed near the end of the article?
  3. Is this periodical a scholarly journal, a popular magazine, or a newspaper?
    How do you know?
  4. Is this article relevant to your topic? How?

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