Michigan State University

WRA 1004: Preparation for College Writing

Resources for First Year Writing students enrolled in WRA 1004

Find Articles

Start here: MSU Article Search

Articles from your Discipline

The list below is broken out by major or subject. Select the subject that is most closely related to your profession or discipline, then see what resources are recommended to you.

Career Information

Popular, Scholarly, or Trade?

Popular, Scholarly and Trade Comparison

  Popular Scholarly Trade
Authority/Authorship
  • Mostly journalists
  • Scholars in an academic or professional field (i.e. doctors, lawyers, educators)
  • Staff writers, industry specialists, and contributing authors
Intended Audience

 

  • General public
  • Scholars or professionals in a particular discipline, field of study, or trade (psychology, medicine, law, etc.)
  • Practitioners and professionals in a specific industry, trade, or organization
Content
  • General interest
  • Popular culture
  • General news
  • Entertainment
  • Original research (such as scientific experiments, surveys and research studies)
  • Critical analysis of topics relative to the profession
  • Charts, diagrams, and/or tables showing data or experiment results are often included
  • Industry related news, trends, techniques, product reviews, statistical data, upcoming events, and more
Level of Language
  • "Everyday" vocabulary/terms
  • Meant to be easily understood by all audiences
  • Specialized vocabulary
  • Terms and concepts specific to a particular discipline or field of study
  • Use vocabulary relevant to an industry, trade or organization
References or Bibliography of Sources
  • Very rarely are any sources listed
  • A list of references or sources is provided at the end of each article
  • Some, but not all, articles contain a list of sources
Review Policy
  • Articles are reviewed by the magazine's editor or editorial staff
  • An editorial board, composed of experts in the field, reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted
  • Also known as "refereed," "peer-reviewed," "professional," or "academic"
  • Articles are reviewed by the publication’s general editorial staff
Advertisments
  • Almost always and in high quantities
  • Occasionally, but highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline (i.e. specific laboratory equipment, medical tools and drugs)
  • Advertising almost always present
  • Ads relate to relevant industry, trade, or organization
Examples
  • Time
  • Newsweek
  • People
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Stone Soup
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Journal of American Studies
  • College Composition and Communication
  • Journal of Business Administration
  • Annual Review of Plant Biology
  • Nature
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Advertising Age
  • American Libraries
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • American Nurse
  • PC Week

Finding Articles for the Disciplinary Literacies Assignment (video)

Evaluating Information Online (video)

Quick video on how to critically examine information online.

Direct link to "Evaluating Information Online" in MSU Mediaspace

Video credit: Emilia Marcyk

Popular, Scholarly, or Trade? (video)

Learn the difference between three major types of articles. Get tips for using each type.

Direct link to "Popular, Scholarly, or Trade?" on MSU Mediaspace

Video credit: Emilia Marcyk

Michigan State University