Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Apr 03, 2017     Views: 2762

"Popular" sources are publications like newspapers and magazines, that do not typically impose strict publishing guidelines on authors.  When you are looking for opinion, news, entertainment or pop culture references, popular sources are your best bet.

But, before you cite a popular source in your research paper for a class, double-check your assignment instructions or ask your instructor.  If you've been asked to use peer-reviewed or scholarly sources only, click here for tips on tracking down those instead.

Summon makes it easy to pinpoint articles from magazines and newspapers.  First, start your search.  Then, on your results screen, look under "CONTENT TYPE" and click the type of article you want to find.  Your results will reload with the chosen article type.  Click the Full Text Online link beneath an article to read it. 

Popular article filters in Summon


The library's EBSCO and ProQuest databases will search both popular and scholarly articles, and they'll also let you specify what kind of article you need.

For example, in ProQuest databases (Lock icon. Subscription resource; log in with your campus id and password.):

1.  Click the  "Advanced search" link at the top of the page. 

2.  In the search box, type your keywords.   Be sure that the "full text" box underneath it is checked.

3.  Below the search box, scroll down and choose the "Source type" that you want.  Magazines and newspapers are both options -- simply check as many options as you need. 

4.  Click "search" and browse your results. 

ProQuest Source Type options

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