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WGST104: Beauty, Culture & Society (Sharangpani): What is a Scholarly Article?

Exercise: Types of Articles

Take a  quick look at the following articles.  When you have looked through them, answer the questions below.  

1)  Conformity to Gender Norms Among Female Student-Athletes:  Implications for Body Image

2)  What the Stopwatch Doesn't Tell


In which publications are each of the articles published? Do you know anything about these publications? (use Google to find out)

What are the major differences between the two articles (in terms of length, format, content, audience, purpose, etc.)?

How to Recognize a Scholarly Journal

What is a scholarly article?

What is a scholarly  article?

Professors are always telling students to look for scholarly or research journal articles for their papers. For every field of research and study, there are scholarly journals.


What are the characteristics of a scholarly journal:

  • Scholarly journals are published by universities, research or professional organizations or associations, or specialized publishers
  • Scholarly journal don't have pictures in them, unless you are looking in a photography journal. (There aren't any ads for cars or beers either.  The only ads you will see are for books or conferences)
  • Articles are written by professors and researchers in a specific field or discipline.
  • Articles will have extensive documentation in the form of footnotes and bibliographies.
  • Articles are usually quite long and detailed.  Titles are often long and detailed as well.
  • You will see lots of tables and graphs in some disciplines, like mathematics or accounting or the sciences.
  • Most importantly, scholarly articles are review by a group of experts in the field before publication.  This PEER REVIEWING process insures that the article is of high quality and the research well done..


Example of a research article from a scholarly journal:

Notice that the article includes an abstract, a literature review, a section on methodology, results, and a conclusion.

The Construction of Beauty: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Women's Magazine Advertising


If you need more information about scholarly journals, watch the short video on the left.