Kinds of Sources:
During your time at Holy Cross, you may find yourself using a combination of both popular and scholarly sources.
Scholarly sources are written by experts on a particular subject (for example, a professor or other researcher). They also go through an extra process of review and approval by a group of other experts before they can be published. Usually, scholarly articles are written in 'academic-ese' and designed to be read by other scholars. However, because scholarly sources take a long time to be approved and published, they are not always good sources for current events.
|Usually staff writers and/or journalists
|Experts on the topic -- usually researchers, scholars and/or professors
|General public (for "popular" consumption)
|Other experts (and students) in the field
|editing & review
|Other experts ("peer reviewed"); generally concerned with quality, thoroughness of research, strength of argument, etc.
|style & design
Reasonably brief, typically uses colloquial if not informal language. Often illustrated with graphics, sidebars and other aesthetic elements. Sometimes accompanied by ads.
|More extensive in length; tends to be more formal and uses specialized vocabulary. Illustrations and charts are used only when furthering content.
|goal or purpose
|To entertain; and/or, to share general information
|To share findings, advance and argument and/or engage with other scholars
|Few or none; if sources are used, there may not be formal citations.
|Typically uses many sources, cited in detailed bibliographies, footnotes and/or endnotes
|Time Magazine; Sports Illustrated; New Yorker; Boston Globe
|Annual Review of Political Science; American Historical Review; Sociology of Education
|Sample Scholarly Article
|Sample Nonscholarly Article
The Information Lifecycle:
The Information Lifecycle helps us understand how information about an event, topic or idea might emerge and evolve over time.
Note that this timeline is just a general sense of the information lifecycle -- the exact timing can vary greatly from one discipline to another!