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Writing at Mat-Su College

A guide for students taking English, particularly English 111, at Mat-Su College.

What is a magazine article?

Magazines are publications written to entertain and inform a large audience.  Normally journalists, not professors, write magazine articles. Magazines don't go through peer-review. Magazines are written to make money, not advance academic knowledge. As such, many people think information in magazines is lower quality than information in journals.

But magazines have their place. They are easier to understand than scholarly journals. This makes them a good place for non-experts to learn about a topic. They also cover news events long before scholarly journals. (Remember that scholarly journals report on experiments and go through review; both of these things take a long time.) And magazines sometimes contain interesting opinions and arguments that would not fit into the research-based writing of scholarly journals.

Where do I find magazine articles?

As with journal articles, Academic Search Premier is a good place to find magazine articles.

Click here to enter Academic Search Premier.

More info on Academic Search Premier is available in the "Scholarly articles" page of this guide. Here all I will mention is that you can narrow your search results down to magazines by using the magazines checkbox on the left side of your search results page:

Screenshot of the Academic Search Premier interface with the "Magazines" limit circled in blue

How can I be sure if an article is from a magazine?

In contrast to a journal article, a magazine article will often...

  • Have flashy pictures or graphics
  • Use jokes, anecdotes, or other means of grabbing your attention.
  • Be short -- rarely more than five or six pages.
  • Not be written by an expert. Magazine articles will sometimes not even say who wrote them.
  • Have short, catchy titles.