A "periodical" is any publication that comes out regularly or occasionally (i.e. periodically, get it?). TV Guide, Sports Illustrated, The Journal of Anthropological Research, The World Almanac, and the phone book are all periodicals. The are also know as "serials."
A "magazine" is a periodical with a popular focus, i.e. aimed at the general public, and containing news, personal narratives, and opinion. Articles are often written by professional writers with or without expertise in the subject; they contain "secondary" discussion of events, usually with little documentation (e.g. footnotes). Magazines use vocabulary understandable to most people, and often have lots of eye-catching illustrations. Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and Psychology Today are magazines
A "journal" is a scholarly periodical aimed at specialists and researchers. Articles are generally written by experts in the subject, using more technical language. They contain original research, conclusions based on data, footnotes or endnotes, and often an abstract or bibliography. The Journal of Physical Chemistry, The Chaucer Review, The Milbank Quarterly, and Labor History are examples of journals.
It's important to understand the differences between journals and magazines. Magazines are not necessarily bad or low quality (nor are journals necessarily high quality) -- they simply aren't designed to support most upper-level academic research. This is because they don't document their sources of information, and they generally lack the depth of scholarly journals.
The table below highlights the differences. For more information check out our Understanding Journals guide.
|Journals - Scholarly||Magazines - Popular|
|Content||Detailed report or original research or experiment.||Secondary report or discussion; may include personal narrative, opinion, anecdotes|
|Author||Author’s credentials are given; usually a scholar with subject expertise||Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.|
|Audience||Scholars, researchers, and students||General public; the interested non-specialist|
|Refereed/peer-reviewed? [What's this?]||Usually||No|
|Language||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires prior knowledge||Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers|
|Layout & Organization||Formal organization often begins with an abstract of the article; if reporting experimental findings notes the experiment’s purpose, methodology, and analysis of the results; a conclusion, and a bibliography; may include charts or graphs, but rarely photographs.||Informal organization: eye-catching type and formatting, usually includes illustrations or photographs. May not intend to present an idea with supporting evidence or come to a conclusion|
|Bibliography & References||Required. All quotes and facts can be verified.||Rare. Scanty, if any, information about sources.|
JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
The words "journal" or "review" often appear in the title
Almost anything available in a store or news stand.
MLA Works Cited: Periodicals
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
Contributors: Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue OWL Staff
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 01:34:01
Periodicals include magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. Works cited entries for periodical sources include three main elements—the author of the article, the title of the article, and information about the magazine, newspaper, or journal. MLA uses the generic term “container” to refer to any print or digital venue (a website or print journal, for example) in which an essay or article may be included.
Use the following format for all citations:
Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publisher Date, Location (pp.). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Pub date, Location.
Article in a Magazine
Cite by listing the article's author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month. The basic format is as follows:
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.
Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping, Mar. 2006, pp. 143-48.
Article in a Newspaper
Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition after the newspaper title.
Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.
Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.
If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper.
Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC],29 Apr. 2007, p. A11.
Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN], 5 Dec. 2000, p. 20.
To cite a review, include the title of the review (if available), then the phrase, “Review of” and provide the title of the work (in italics for books, plays, and films; in quotation marks for articles, poems, and short stories). Finally, provide performance and/or publication information.
Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Review of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, page.
Seitz, Matt Zoller. "Life in the Sprawling Suburbs, If You Can Really Call It Living." Review of Radiant City, directed by Gary Burns and Jim Brown. New York Times, 30 May 2007, p. E1.
Weiller, K. H. Review of Sport, Rhetoric, and Gender: Historical Perspectives and Media Representations, edited by Linda K. Fuller. Choice, Apr. 2007, p. 1377.
An Editorial & Letter to the Editor
Cite as you would any article in a periodical, but include the designators "Editorial" or "Letter" to identify the type of work it is.
"Of Mines and Men." Editorial. Wall Street Journal, eastern edition, 24 Oct. 2003, p. A14.
Hamer, John. Letter. American Journalism Review, Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007, p. 7.
Cite the article title first, and finish the citation as you would any other for that kind of periodical.
"Business: Global Warming's Boom Town; Tourism in Greenland." The Economist, 26 May 2007, p. 82.
"Aging; Women Expect to Care for Aging Parents but Seldom Prepare." Women's Health Weekly, 10 May 2007, p. 18.
An Article in a Scholarly Journal
A scholarly journal can be thought of as a container, as are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container can be thought of as anything that is a part of a larger body of works. In this case, cite the author and title of article as you normally would. Then, put the title of the journal in italics. Include the volume number (“vol.”) and issue number (“no.”) when possible, separated by commas. Finally, add the year and page numbers.
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.
Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.
Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly, vol.50, no. 3, 1994, pp. 127-53.
An Article in a Special Issue of a Scholarly Journal
When an article appears in a special issue of a journal, cite the name of the special issue in the entry’s title space, in italics. Add the descriptor “special issue of” and include the name of the journal, also in italics, followed by the rest of the information required for a standard scholarly journal citation.
Web entries should follow a similar format, and should include a URL, DOI, or permalink.
Burgess, Anthony. "Politics in the Novels of Graham Greene." Literature and Society, special issue of Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 2, no. 2, 1967, pp. 93-99.
Case, Sue-Ellen. “Eve's Apple, or Women's Narrative Bytes.” Technocriticism and Hypernarrative, special issue of Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 43, no. 3, 1997, pp. 631-50. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/mfs.1997.0056.