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There are many well-researched, non-fiction books geared toward popular audiences. For college/professional level research aim to refer to scholarly/academic books. What are some of the distinctions you can look for?
- Written by a scholar, researcher, PhD holder in the field, or professor.
- Utilizes extensive primary source documentation.
- Uses discipline-specific terminology, methodology, and theory.
- Advances research or contributes to a discipline of study.
- May be a monograph or edited compilation.
- Published by a university or scholarly association.
Authored by a Professor of International Relations at Oxford
Published by Columbia University Press
Written for academic audiences familiar with the discipline
Theoretical and analytical
Reviewed by academic journals: Political Science Quarterly
Popular Non-Fiction Book
- Written by a professional, journalist, political pundit, or writer.
- May or may not include references or notes.
- Is informational but does not present original, empirical research.
- Does not require discipline-specific knowledge.
- Typically a narrative or biographical story.
- Published by a trade publisher (i.e., Harper Collins, Random House).
Authored by an award-winning writer
Published by Random House
Written for a lay audience
Narrative or biographical story
Reviewed by popular sources: The Economist, Sports Illustrated