A Comparison of Scholarly and Popular Media Article


Fierce debate is ongoing about the right resource to use for performing or supporting research work. This debate has effectively categorized the research resources into two groups: scholarly articles and popular media articles (Navada, 2009). The supporters of the former cite their originality since most scholarly studies are originally done. On the other hand, the supporters of the latter argue that most researchers base their work on the previously done work and as such need to refer to them (Navada, 2009). As such, they argue that scholarly resources are dependent on each other, and are, therefore, not based on the original findings of a field study. This study will, therefore, aim to establish the facts that could settle this debate by looking at individual articles from both quarters.   

Scholarly versus Popular Media Articles

The research paper The Skinny on Success: Body Mass, Gender and Occupational Standing across the Life Course written by Glass et al (2010) was published in Social Forces Journal. The research paper discusses the effects of weight upon the occupational success of the people. The same topic has been discussed in the article Study: Your Weight Affects Your Salary published in a popular website (CBS, 2010). Both of these articles are focused upon the relations between the body mass and occupational success of the people. However, the authors have taken different approaches to put forward their arguments.

The article written by Glass et al discusses the effects of obesity on the occupational standing through the analysis of data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. However, this article challenges the previous research studies affirming the direct effect of obesity on occupation success (Glass et al., 2010). It explains that career development is affected by the modesty of both men and women, and obesity has some indirect effects upon their careers. It brings into perspective other factors that affect the success in career development.

The popular media article also emphasizes on the issue of obesity and its effect on career development. The article refers to the findings of a study that had been conducted earlier and published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. These findings argue that low weight women get high salaries as compared with the heavy weight women whereas large size men tend to get more salaries than their thinner fellows do (CBS, 2010). The article emphasizes on the effects of obesity upon the difference in the earning of men and women and informs that obesity differently affects the careers of different genders. The article takes some figures from a research journal and does not prove anything on its own. There are no other evidences or arguments provided by the article to affirm the credibility of the described facts.


The comparison of these articles shows that the scholarly article is based upon authentic research data and scientific analysis whereas the popular media article simply takes information from a source and places it to the audience without further research. The research paper written by Glass et al, on the other hand, proves the issue in more scientific and argument-based manner.

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