Periodical Literature:  newspapers, Magazines and Journals

"Periodical" refers to the class of literature published at some regular or occasional interval.  Newspapers, Magazines and Journals are all examples of periodical literature.

Newspaper articles are written by professional journalists.  They cover subjects of interest and current events.  They may included statistics, images or analysis.  Many Newspapers also include an Op/Ed or Opinion/Editorial section.  The vocabulary used will be understandable to the general public.  Consider if there appears to be a particular bias indicated, particularly in the articles found in the Op/Ed section.

Magazine articles are composed by writers ranging from professional journalists to fiction writers and essayists.  They cover popular subjects, current affairs and may include fiction, poetry or essays.  In the articles one will find facts, however articles may reflect the editorial bias of the publication.  As the writers are not experts, the articles may be considered a secondary discussion of events written in a vocabulary that is understandable to the general public. An editiorial bias or slant refers to the particular opinion or position held by the publisher of the Magazine.  Magazines often include images and illustrations related to the articles and stories.

Journal articles are scholarly at aimed at specialists, researchers and those studying to be specialists and researchers.  Generally articles are written by experts using technical language or the vocabulary of a field, discipline or subject.  Journals contain original research, conclusions based on data, endnotes, footnotes and often a bibliography.  It is common for the author to include an abstract.  Journals are used to support upper-level academic research because they document their sources and generally go more in depth with a topic.  Journals can be detailed reports, original research or reports of an experiment.  Since their audience are other scholars, researchers and students, an author's credentials are given.  It is not unusal for the words "journal" or "review" to appear in the title of a Journal.  Remember that a journal is not necessarily high quality just because it is a journal.  Peer-reviewed journals are those that have each article reviewed by experts other than the author prior to publication.