Appearance is a "quick and dirty", although not foolproof, way of determining in which of the four categories a periodical belongs. Possible qualities to look for are type of paper (matte vs. glossy), prevalence of the use of photographs or other illustrations, frequency and type of advertisements, and style of the front cover.
|Back to main chart||Academic Journals||Substantial
|Appearance||Usually plain black print on white paper. May contain graphs and charts but seldom contain photographs or colorful graphics||Some photographs and graphics but usually not as many as popular
|Slick and glossy with photographs, illustrations, graphics, and interest-catching cover stories||Usually thin, inexpensive paper stock and black ink. The amount of color and illustrative matter are determined by editorial policy|
|show me||show me||show me||show me|
This example from a page in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology illustrates the typical appearance of articles in academic journals.
This example from an article in Sports Illustrated includes primarily text as well as some photographs and some color.
The photograph takes up the majority of space on this page of an article in a popular magazine.
USA Today is known for its use of color. Below is an example.