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ENGL 151: Short Fiction and the Novel

Is it scholarly??

The Internet and the Library make it is easy to find information, but it is more difficult to identify sources you can rely on. Evaluate your sources carefully to ensure you've selected material that is trustworthy and appropriate for your assignment. 

Use this chart to help you evaluate your sources:



Scholarly Academic Publication

Popular Publications


Written by an expert in the field of study (an academic or trained specialist) Written by those without expertise in the field (a member of the public or journalist) or no author is stated 


Date of publication is provided Popular publications, especially Web publications, often do not give a date of publication


Colleges/Universities, professional associations, research institutes + scholarly publishers    Commercial for-profit publishers 


To report on original research, experiments, theories; written for experts or university/college students    To sell advertised products, inform, promote a point of view or entertain; written for the general public


 Peer review by experts in the field (also known as refereed)

Review by a generalist (a magazine editor) or no review


Sources used in the author's research are cited in a reference list or footnotes    Sources are rarely cited or are inaccurate


Accurate spelling + grammar, few advertisements, logical + well written, specialized vocabulary

Spelling + grammar errors may occur, many advertisements, variable writing quality, non-technical, simple vocabulary, informal tone

(Modified, original source UBC Library


For more information on evaluating information sources, see:

5 Ws of Evaluation

Adapted from The CRAAP Test, developed by librarians at California State University, Chico

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