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Research Guides@Tufts

Forgiveness and Revenge: Home

About Scholarly Articles and Reading Tips

Key Characteristics of a Scholarly Article

  • Author(s): scholars/researchers with credentials (e.g. PhD) and/or affiliations (e.g. university professor or similar knowledge-based organizations.)
  • (the intended) Audience: for their academic peers in the discipline/field.
  • Purpose: to further our understanding about a topic with original research, usually focusing in a narrow area of the subject (rather than to merely persuade, entertain, inform, or report.)
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly articles are vetted and improved by experts in the field before publication.
  •  Language: scholarly language with discipline specific vocabulary.
  • Structure: Relatively lengthy (at least 5 pages of text) with many citations and references to published research (footnotes and/or bibliography).

Reading Tips

A systematic approach in your reading helps you consider the article critically. A good critique is really more about your own confidence as a reader than about possession of specific knowledge.

How to Read Journal Articles Like a Professor by Michael J. Nelson.

Evaluating Information & Citing Sources

Evaluating Information

MLA Handbook Plus

Cite sources to

  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Give credit to the source of an idea
  • Lend credibility to your arguments