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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Commonwealth College: Dean's Book Course

Patricia Gorman

What is a "general" article?



A "general" article differs from a scholarly one in a number of ways. It could be written by a journalist, rather than a scholar, and published in a newspaper or magazine. Most journalism articles are not subjected to "peer review". (See the PowerPoint  for a detailed explanation.)

Articles from trade and professional journals, general-circulation magazines, newspapers, or, today, from blogs or other web sources, are not considered scholarly sources.

This does not mean you can't use them in your essays; it merely means that you, as a researcher, have to distinguish between the scholarly and the non-scholarly article.


Finding "general" articles

Here are some library databases which offer general-circulation magazine articles. A much longer and more compregensive list can be found at the Best Bet Databases in General and Interdisciplinary library page.