Week 2 – discussion forum 1



In your initial discussion forum post,

  • Attach your completed Week 2: Source Type Analysis Template to this discussion.
  • Explain at least three major differences between the scholarly and popular sources based on your analysis.
  • Briefly describe a scenario where it might be appropriate to use a scholarly source and a scenario where it might be appropriate to use a popular source.
  • Discuss the importance of understanding the differences between scholarly and popular sources.

Your initial post should be a minimum of 250 words.

Review your classmates’ posts and respond to two of your peers. Each peer response should be a minimum of 50 words.


Explain at least three major differences between the scholarly and popular sources based on your analysis.

The scholarly article focuses on a specific, narrow topic and is lengthy and in-depth and the popular presents a broad range of topics in shorter articles.

The scholarly article was aimed at a specialist readership of academics, students, and professionals, and the popular article was intended for an audience without any particular expertise

The scholarly article was mostly text with no photography and the popular article attracted the eye and was filled with photographs or illustrations.

Briefly describe a scenario where it might be appropriate to use a scholarly source and a scenario where it might be appropriate to use a popular source.

Scholarly articles would be appropriate for research papers. Scholarly articles are the most credible sources you can find because they have been peer-reviewed. The research in the articles is thorough, so you can use the bibliography to find additional sources for your paper. Popular sources are essential if you want to stay informed about current events. You can find answers to who, what, when, and where questions using popular sources. 

Discuss the importance of understanding the differences between scholarly and popular sources.

Even though popular sources can also contain well-considered material, It’s not always reliable. Scholarly articles are the most credible sources you can find. To distinguish between these types of works, one must determine their authority and depth of research on a particular topic, and therefore their overall academic credibility.


Hello Class,  

I decided to review the two sources on Hurricane Katrina. I found both sources informative. The Popular source article was a more interesting read, while the scholarly source article was more informative. I live here in Texas, so Katrina was close to home. I remember donating and helping set up fundraisers to assist in the aftermath of Katrina, so this subject grabbed my attention.  

There were many differences between a scholarly and popular source article. The popular source article was easier to relate to and had a better flow to it. It also used simple language and was attention-grabbing. The scholarly source article used more factual language and read more like a report. The scholarly source article relied on the facts and analysis of information to prove points to the reader. One major difference between them is that the scholarly source article did not have photos. It had tables and graphs to illustrate the figures found. The popular source article used images to get the reader to relate to the story or show who they were writing about. A second major difference between the two is that the popular source article did not have references. The popular source articles are usually written by journalists, professional writers, and non-experts interested in the discipline. In contrast, the scholarly source article had an extensive list of references. The third major difference I found was the number of authors each article had. The scholarly source article had many authors and was peer-reviewed. In comparison, the popular source article had one author and was not peer-reviewed. 

Appropriate usage of the scholarly source would be for a research paper, or when giving a presentation, a scholarly source would be a good credible source. Practical use of the popular source would be in conversation, to get an idea about a subject or general entertainment. A scholarly source is credible since it has been peer-reviewed and has many cited references. A popular source is good general information about a subject. They tend not to have many cited references and are usually a single author with no peer-reviewed data. Understanding the difference is what can make your research credible or not. If you quote a popular source, you risk the chance of the information being false or misleading. Knowing the difference between them will help me be credible and have confidence that I am using truthful information when completing future assignments. 

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