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English - Literature and Composition: Online Content & Current Issues

A guide to resources for English courses focusing on the study of literature and the process of writing.

Journal vs. Magazine

Peer-reviewed, or "scholarly" articles appear in academic or professional journals.  The term "peer-review" means that the content of each article is reviewed by experts for accuracy and authority prior to publication.  Common components of a scholarly article include author credentials, literature review, methodology (if a research article), findings (if a research article), conclusions and a reference bibliography.

Magazine articles often do not include a reference bibliography, and in some cases the author and credentials are not listed.  Without that type of information, it is difficult to verify the source.  For most research projects, your professors will expect you to use strong, verifiable sources that have undergone peer-review prior to publishing.

News Magazines, Daily News

Print media sources for topical stories:

Time
Nation
US News & World Report
New Republic
Christian Century
National Review
Christian Science Monitor
Newsweek
And these daily publications:
Indianapolis Star
Chicago Tribune
Wall Street Journal
Christian Science Monitor

 

These magazines and newspapers are available in the Current Periodicals section on the 2nd floor of the library.

Evaluating Web Content Critically - CRAAP Test

Conducting research is a critical process, no matter how trusted the source may be. Use the following criteria for evaluating the validity of Internet content:

Primary considerations:

  • Authority & Authorship - Is there a clearly defined author of the content, and if so, what are his or her credentials? Is there an "About" section listed on the site? Can the authors be contacted?
  • Bias - Is there a pursuit of objectivity in the content that is presented?  Or is there a noticeable bias or implicit agenda on the part of the author(s) that is discernible?
  • Relevancy - Is the content current enough or even pertinent to the subject to support the claims of the authors? How often is the content updated?
  • Accuracy - Are the proposed conclusions verifiable from the data presented? Is any data and accompanying references presented? Can fact be adequately separated from opinion?  

Also known as the CRAAP Test for evaluating information, use this set of criteria to maintain a critical focus on whatever sources are used in your research.

Other considerations for evaluation:

  • What is the domain of the site's URL (.com,.edu,.org,.net,.gov)?
  • Are there numerous broken links across the site?
  • Are there advertisements on the page which may promote an agenda?
  • Does the site rely too heavily on extra, downloadable software?

Other helpful sites 

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask - University of California, Berkeley

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet - Johns Hopkins University

Internet News Sites

BBC

World news from the British Broadcasting Corporation.

CNN.com

CNN news online, updated continuously.  Includes links to content from CNN broadcasts.

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S.

MSNBC.com

Major media political coverage, along with national and international news.  Includes links to NBC content.

NPR.org

National Public Radio online.  Includes podcasts of NPR progamming available 24/7/365.

ProCon.org

Presents both sides of controversial issues and major news stories.  A non-profit, non-partisan organization.