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Library Research Guides

Political Science 411: Michigan in Washington

Resources for the Michigan in Washington (MIW) program

The Information Cycle

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

Have questions about the difference between "scholarly" and "peer reviewed"? This video explains the peer review process. 

Evaluating What You Find

Use the 5 W's of Information Evaluation to evaluate websites, articles, and books.

Scholarly/Non-scholarly Comparison

 Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether you are reading a scholarly or a non-scholarly article. Here are some clues.





Detailed report of original research or experiment, lengthy report of an original application of an arts or humanities concept Secondary report or discussion may include personal narrative, opinion, anecdotes.


Author's credentials are given, usually a scholar with subject expertise. Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.


Scholars, researchers, students. General public; the interested non-specialist.


Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires prior knowledge. Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers.



Required. All quotes and facts can be verified. Rare. Scanty, if any, information about sources.


Research study, lengthy academic discussion of an arts or humanities concept, research review article Editorial, news, book/film review, letters, highlights