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COMP 100: Composition (Most Instructors): Types of Periodicals

Types of Periodicals

Types of Periodicals



Scholarly & Research Journals

Professional, Trade &

Industry Journals

Journals of Commentary

& Opinion


Popular Magazines


American Historical Review

Journal of Educational Research

Plasma Physics

Social Psychology Quarterly


Science Teacher

Restaurants and Institutions

American Libraries

Mother Jones

National Review


New Republic

New York Times

Washington Post

Christian Science Monitor

Wall Street Journal



Sports Illustrated

Readers Digest

Values &


Reports of original research;

In depth analysis of issues related to the discipline; Academic level book reviews; Refereed or peer-reviewed

Current trends, news & products in a field; Company, organization, & biographical information; Statistics, forecasts; Employment & career information;

Book and product reviews

Commentaries on social & political issues; Some  in-depth analysis; Political viewpoints, liberal, conservative & other; Sometimes acts as voice of activist organization; Speeches & interviews; Book reviews

Current information; Hard news; Local and regional information; Classified ads; Editorials; Speeches; Book reviews; Primary source for information on events

Current events; Hot topics;  Primary source for analysis of popular culture; Short articles; Generally not much depth; Interviews


Academic; Can be very technical; Uses the language of the discipline

Written for practitioners; Can use jargon extensively

Written for a general educated audience

Written for a general educated audience

Non-technical language


Researchers, academics, professors, scholars, etc.

Practitioners in the field or journalists with subject expertise

Extremely variable; Can be academics, journalists, representatives of various “groups”


Generally, journalists and freelance writers


Footnotes and bibliographies, Often very extensive documentation

Occasional brief bibliographies; Sources sometimes cited in text

Occasionally cite sources in text or  provide short  bibliographies

Rarely cite any sources in full

Rarely cite any sources


Universities, scholarly presses or academic/research organizations

Commercial publishers or professional and trade associations

Commercial publishers  or non-profit organizations

Commercial publishers

Commercial publishers


Graphs, charts, formulas, depending on the discipline; No glossy ads here at all

Photographs, charts, tables, illustrations of all sorts; Sometimes glossy ads

Wide variety of appearances; Some very plain, others lots of gloss

Pictures, charts, ads of all sorts

Very glossy; Full of color ads of all sorts



From Designs for Active Learning:  A Sourcebook of Classroom Strategies for Information Education.  Eds. Gail Gradowski, Loanne Snavely, and Paula Dempsey.  Chicago:  ACRL, 1998.

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