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Literature Types   Tags: information-literacy  

This guide lists some of the main types of literature including popular, scholarly, trade, government information, etc.
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2013 URL: http://libguides.willamette.edu/literature-types Print Guide RSS Updates
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Main Types of Literature

 

  Values & Uses Language Authors Sources Publisher Graphics Examples
Scholarly & Research Journals Reports original research; Refereed or peer-reviewed;
In depth & lengthy analysis of issues related to discipline; Includes abstract of article; Scholar are kept up-to-date in their field 
Academic;
Can be very technical;
Uses language of the discipline; Difficult to read
Researchers or Academic Scholars
(e.g. professors) 
Footnotes & bibliographies;
Citations in text;
Extensive documentation
Universities; Scholarly presses; Research organizations  Few glossy ads;
Graphs;
Charts;
Formulas;
Tables; 

American Hist. Review; Behavioral Ecology;
Cell;
Journal of Ed. Research;
Plasma Physics;
Lancet;
Social Psychology Quarterly 

Popular Magazines Short articles;
Not in-depth;
Current events & hot topics; Interviews;
They are designed for profit & a wide range of readers;
Entertaining & flashy;
Primary source for analysis of popular culture
Non-technical language;
Easy to read
Journalists; Freelance writers Rarely cite any sources  Commercial publishers  Very glossy;
Full of color ads and pictures of all sorts
Time;
Newsweek;
Sports Illustrated;
Readers Digest 
Professional, Trade & Industry Journals Statistics, forecasts, and current trends;
Company, organization, & biographical information;
Employment & career Info;
News & products in a field 
Written for practitioners; Uses professional terminology;
Difficult to read
Practitioners in the field;
Journalists with subject expertise
Occasionally use citations in text;
Sometimes brief bibliographies
Commercial publishers or professional and trade associations  Photographs, charts, tables, & all types of illustrations; Sometimes glossy ads  RN (Registered Nurse);
Science Teacher;
Restaurants and Institutions;
American Libraries 
Journals of Commentary & Opinion Commentaries on social & political issues;
Some in-depth analysis;
Political viewpoints;
Acts as voice of activist organization;
Speeches & interviews;
Book reviews
Written for a general educated audience;
Easy to read
Varies extremely from academics to journalists to representatives of various groups  Occasionally uses citations or provide short bibliographies Commercial publishers or non-profit organizations  Wide variety of appearances; Some have no graphics, while others are loaded  Mother Jones;
Atlantic;
National Review;
New Republic 
Newspapers Primary info on events;
Current information (local, regional & global);
Hard news;
Classified ads;
Editorials;
Speeches 
Written for a general educated audience;
Easy to read
Journalists Rarely cite any sources Commercial publishers  Pictures;
charts;
ads of all sorts
New York Times;
Washington Post;
Christian Science Monitor;
Wall Street Journal 
Gray Literature  Literature not typically available through regular market channels because they were never commercially published, listed, or priced; Reviews current information & occasionally provides original research Can be very technical;
Uses the language of the discipline
Government officials;
Researchers;
Academic Scholars 
Ranges from no documentation to extensive use of citations  U.S Government;
Universities;
Scholarly presses;
Research organizations 
No glossy ads;
Graphs;
Charts;
Formulas;
Tables 
Reports (government, institutional, technical, research);
Newsletters;
Bulletins;
Internal documents;
Dissertations;
Theses;
Conference proceedings
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