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Information Literacy Modules
  • What is a magazine?

    Magazines are published regularly (periodically). They contain:

    • Easy-to-understand articles on popular topics
    • Interviews
    • Personal stories
    • Review of current events
    • Reviews of products and movies,and performances

  • How do I know it's a magazine?

    • Colorful layout
    • Images and photos
    • Advertisements

  • How do I know it's a magazine?

    • Does the article have a catchy title?
    • Is the writing informal and easy to understand?
    • Are paragraphs short with subheadings?

    Tip: Some database vendors include a PDF so you can see the print layout.

  • How do I know it's a magazine?

    A magazine title may include words such as:

    • Magazine
    • Illustrated
    • Popular
    • Weekly
    • Hobbies (dogs, photography, tennis)
    • Target audience (teens, consumers, Los Angeles)

  • How do I know it's a magazine?

    Does Google's search snippet include the word "magazine?"

  • How do I know it's a magazine?

    Find the periodical's website:

    • Are the graphics and content typical of a magazine?
    • Does the publisher call it a magazine (see "About" and "Press Information")?

  • Does this article have the information I need?

    • In the database record, review the subject terms
    • Read the abstract
    • In print, skim the section headings

    Always check: Does this add new information or a different viewpoint?

  • How do I evaluate an article's currency?

    If recent information is essential to understanding your topic, check the following:

    • The date the magazine was published
    • The dates of the sources that the author quotes or cites

  • How do I evaluate the author's knowledge?

    A credible contributor might:

    • Write about this topic regularly
    • Have first-hand knowledge of a person
    • Seen or participated in an event
    • Have a degree in this field
    • Do research on this topic
    • Work in a related field

    Tip: If a magazine author is unnamed or a member of the editorial staff, evaluate the content.

  • How do I evaluate an article's credibility?

    Is the writer's purpose to persuade, analyze or describe?

    • Does the author explain more than one position?
    • Are statements supported by evidence?
    • Where can I check the statistics?
    • Are vivid or loaded words used?

    Always check: Does this make sense, given what I already know?

  • How do I cite a magazine article?

    Gather elements for your citation from the database record or print magazine.

    • Title
    • Author
    • Pages
    • Magazine name
    • Publication month, day and year