Matthew Seth Painter

Mrs. Vilhotti

Eng 101

January 25, 2008

Comparison of Popular and Academic Sources

Comparison of an Academic versus a Popular Source[OU1] 


            Although both academic and popular articles can be very similar, their differences in structure, language, and reference greatly outnumber their similarities[OU2] . These three conventions were organized in “Introducing Students to Disciplinary Genres” written by Linton. [OU3] “Women are Never Front Runners”, written by Gloria Steinem, [OU4] and “Doubly Bound: The Impact of Gender and Race on the Politics of Black Women”, [OU5] written by Claudine Gay and Catherine Tate, wrote on issues that dealt with our society and their opinions[OU6]  to each. It moves from general to specific details base on structure, reference and language to clarify their opinions. Each article explains how black women are compared to white women in regard to two different sources, one being a popular source while the other is an academic source.[OU7]  Through structure, reference, language and evidence, each article has its differences and can be shown throughout each of these categories.[OU8] 

            Considering that each article has its own specific organization style and is composed in different ways, academic and popular articles have many structural differences. Gloria Steinem, Women are Never Front Runners, used her own sense of style in organization and structure. The arrangements of paragraphs are different than normal. Each thought about the issue is divided up into even smaller portions to be easier to read and keep things more clear. This article was published in the New York Times [OU9] Newspaper as a modern biased article written by one person. Doubly Bound: The Impact of Gender and Race on the Politics of Black Women, written by Claudine Gay and Katherine Tate, had its own personal [OU10] structure to it as well.  This article particularly has headings and titles that organized their ideas to help keep things[OU11]  clear. The paragraphs are long and detailed. The main difference between the two articles is that this one has many statistics and tables while the other one does not. It gives details about responses and identifications based on what year it was. This article is very detailed and researched. Overall both articles have their own differences with structure with either organization, sentence structure or how much detail goes into it.[OU12] 

            Even though the two articles that are being focused on are completely different in structure and style, reference is used in all writing and plays a major role in the development of articles and research[OU13] . Steinem’s article is a popular source meaning that is it open to the public. It is an easy source that you can find by searching in any data base such as Google or Yahoo searches[OU14] . There are not any direct quotes or citation used in the article. The article is written by one person as a biased article [OU15] to where it does not need to have any reference or citations. The Doubly Bound article, on the other hand, has many direct quotes and citations. This article is an academic article, meaning that you must go through a database in order to obtain it and is not for the public use[OU16] . Both articles have their own unique reference. One as an academic source and the other being a popular source.[OU17] 

            Although writing styles vary according to the author, genre, and audience, language is the most important factor in writing[OU18] , as seen in academic and popular articles. Steinem uses her own language to give style to her work. She puts direct quotes around certain words or phrases to add emphasis or meaning to them. [OU19] Her work is very opinionated because she asks questions and gives examples like “Be honest[OU20] ” (Steinem). The Doubly Bound article is not opinionated. It usesis strict data and statistics. There is also more challenginged vocabulary being used by the two authors to give it a more intellectual sense of style. Evidence? Language is a key that can be used diversely or similarly. [OU21] 

            Because of the many unique areas and niches of writing, these articles show that each one has their own style that is primarily based on structure, reference, and language. Organization and structure can be different to add a sense of style or character to each piece. Reference can come from either your mind [OU22] or researched while language can be the key ingredient to pull all your ideas to life. An academic source is different from a popular source either by the way it is accessed or the kind of data that the article can have. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but each has their own unique style.[OU23] 

Works Cited


Gay Claudine and Katherine Tate. “Doubly Bound: The Impact of Gender and Race on             the Politics of Black Women “. (1998) Political Psychology 19 (1), 169–184.



Steinem, Gloria. “Women are Never Front Runners”. (2008) The New York Times




 [OU1]MLA style needs no large font, bold—actually just centered, 12 point font.  I know, no fun.

 [OU2]How could you have written a more intriguing lead?

 [OU3]Have you introduced the Linton article to your reader?  Also, the first time you mention a text, list it’s title & all authors.

 [OU4]Consider introducing your authors, their backgrounds, their purposes as related to their respective jobs, possible agendas, and the major differences in their respective publications.  For instance, since Steinem is so famous, might that impact her reliance (or lack thereof) on others’ quotes, sources, facts, statistics?  Think along these lines.

 [OU5]Commas go inside “ “ marks—look up commas in Grammar Links & report back in your EAL.

 [OU6]Opinions?  Or findings—for an empirical report…

 [OU7]I’m not sure Steinem’s piece is on this topic

 [OU8]Weak thesis statement: How exactly?  Literally make the specific argument within the thesis statement itself—see the SCAP handout, rewrite you ThS & report back in your EAL

 [OU9]Look up how to identify long works (books, newspapers) vs. short works (poems, articles) & report back in your EAL



 [OU12]How could your paragraph have been improved with more evidence, more detailed observations, & some analysis about the significance of your observations?

 [OU13]Since “reference” has a rather specific contextual definition, I would define it early on; use Linton to do so.

 [OU14]Interesting observation—now, ask “so what” & answer—always provide your reader with the significance of your observations.

 [OU15]A strong assertion here is buried—it must be explained—how is she biased?  How can you tell?  Evidence?

 [OU16]Excellent!  Only student to note this!  Now, give us the point—the “so what”

 [OU17]How could you have closed this paragraph out in a stronger, more effective way?

 [OU18]Why?  Think also, is this TS “SAPy”?  Where is your specific, analytical, provable claim?  Will this paragraph just be about the importance of language or are you arguing something more specific?  If so, go ahead and spell it out for us!

 [OU19]Great observation!  Evidence & analysis are needed though

 [OU20]Yes!  Now, elaborate—what’s your point?

 [OU21]A less effective closing sentence—a bit trite; aim for closing sentences to take it a step beyond; call me over for more detailed explanation

 [OU22]Why might a writer want to avoid use of 2nd person?  Look it up in Grammar Links & report back in your EAL.

 [OU23]I do recognize how you are attempting to move from specificity to universal concepts—however this  conclusion could be much improved—check out the handout on strong conclusions in the UNC writing Lab handout collection (see links on our website) & rewrite!