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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

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Scholarly vs. Popular

(Image from Randolph Community College Library)

Why articles?

Articles are shorter works, usually between 1 and 35 pages, that are about a specific topic.  Use articles to: 

  • support your argument in a research paper
  • learn who is doing research in your area
  • stay up-to-date with the most current research

You will use library databases to find journal articles.  Most professors will ask that you use scholarly articles. You search for articles in Databases.  

Find Articles


  • Cover numerous topics
  • May contain multiple types of sources (e.g. popular, trade, scholarly)
  • Audience = educated readership


View the video below for tips on searching for articles.


  • Pertain to a particular discipline
  • Often contain scholarly sources, known as peer-reviewed articles
  • Articles are written and reviewed by experts in the field
  • Academic audience
  • Showcase original research