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What is a scholarly journal?
Scholarly journals contain articles written for academicians in a field. They use technical language and are often long. They also may contain charts, graphs, or a bibliography.
What is a popular magazine?
A popular magazine has articles written for the general public. They use easily-understood language and the articles tend to be short.
How to Read a Scholarly Article
You don't have to read the entire article -- skim it first.
Here's a graphic to help you understand reading an academic article (brought to you courtesy of North Carolina State University