Welcome, Dr. Mottier's students! This page was updated in March 2020 for students enrolled in the course Scandals and Sleaze: Histories of Crime and Criminality in the Americas.
Which books are scholarly?
When searching for books, you will likely find a variety of popular press books and scholarly books. For academic purposes, you will most often need scholarly books. Here are some clues to look for when you are trying to determine whether a particular book is scholarly:
Author. The author's credentials & institution should be provided. Authors of scholarly books typically have advanced degrees and often work at a university.
Audience. Scholarly books are written for academic researchers who are knowledgeable about the topic, and likely use specialized terminology.
Purpose. What is the purpose of the book? Does the author want to support findings of a research project, present a case study, make an argument that is supported by evidence or research, etc.? If the main purpose is to entertain or educate readers on basic concepts, it might not be scholarly.
Publisher. Scholarly books are published by academic presses, and often university presses. Examine the publisher’s website to learn more about the types of material they publish.
References. Scholarly books typically include in-text citations or footnotes and a bibliography that cites many other scholarly books, articles, and primary sources.
Reviews. Book reviews may help you understand the quality of a book’s scholarship. Reviews for scholarly books are often published in peer-reviewed journals. Search for the title in OneSearch to start looking for reviews.