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Fundamentals of Oral Communication (29-102)

Types of periodicals

How can you tell the difference? magazine cover Texas Monthly The Atlantic magazine cover cover of Nature academic journal


Popular magazines

Journals of commentary and opinion

Scholarly , Academic & research journals


Usually a staff writer or journalist. Sometimes the author's name is not provided.

Great variety: specialists, journalists, organizational members, others.

Primarily experts, often university researchers, whose credentials are usually included.


Written for the "average" person who doesn't have in-depth knowledge of a topic.

General audience, high school and up.

Aimed at professionals, researchers, scholars, or others with more in-depth knowledge of the topic.


Entertainment, opinion, current topics, quick facts.

Commentary on social and political issues, specific viewpoints, book reviews.

Research, analysis, scholarship. Often includes abstract, research methods, conclusion, bibliography.


Shorter articles providing broad overviews of topics.

Varies:  short, pithy, articles to more in-depth discussion.  An issue may be devoted to a particular topic.

Longer articles providing in-depth analysis of topics.*


Glossy, color pictures, advertisements.

Varies considerably.  Some have graphics and advertisements.

Dense text, usually with graphs and charts, fewer specialized, advertisements.


Articles are generally evaluated by staff editors rather than experts in the field.

Publications support a particular viewpoint or specific interest group.  Opinionated.

Articles reviewed by a "jury" of experts--"peer-reviewed" or "refereed"—before publication.*


People, Essence, Hispanic, Good Housekeeping, Out, Time, Vogue, Sports Illustrated

National Review, America, Harper’s, New Republic, Commentary, Progressive, Atlantic

Journal of American History, Nature, Journal of Business, Bioscience, Multicultural Education

Used with permission from Austin Community College District Library Services

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