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Popular and Scholarly Sources

In this video, we explore the differences between popular and scholarly sources in the context of the information cycle.

Student learning outcome(s)

  • Students distinguish between popular and scholarly information sources in order to select the sources whose purpose, authority, and audience are consistent with their information needs. SLO 3: Popular and Scholarly Sources
  • Students examine how information changes over time in order to determine the values, perspectives, and processes that shape it. SLO 4: What Shapes Information?

Direct link: Popular and Scholarly Sources: The Information Cycle on YouTube


  • Scholarly sources: Information sources created by experts. The audience consists of others in the expert’s discipline. Example: Peer-reviewed journal articles, academic books.
  • Popular sources: Information sources created by non-experts, such as journalists or social media users. The audience tends to be more general than that of scholarly sources.
    Example: Newspaper or magazine articles, Tweets.

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