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Magazines and academic journals

Magazine and academic journal articles have some very different features. If you want to model your writing on the style of academic journals, you should study the features of research writing so you can begin to use them in your own writing.

Read the following extracts and try to decide which are from a magazine and which come from an academic journal. How can you tell? What differences are there between them?

(You may come across some unfamiliar expressions in these passages. Just make a guess at the general meaning and keep on reading, as you would for any academic research.)

The first example is done for you:

Example extract

The Hispanic Consumer Panel had its origins about five years ago. "We saw a need to understand what Hispanics were purchasing", Greenberg says. "There was nothing really available that fully captured Hispanic purchasing behaviour. Some services just included acculturated Hispanics, others were not capturing urban consumers and, in many cases, the information was not continuous, so you couldn't compare households from one year to another."

Your answer:

Journal

Magazine

Magazine

The writer does not source the information. The opinion quoted is presented in direct speech and we have no way of checking up if that person said what he is reported to have said.

Let's see what the passage might have been like if it appeared in an academic journal:

The Hispanic Consumer Panel had its origins about five years ago (Greenberg 1998). It was conceived with the intention of exploring Hispanics' purchasing behaviour, as there was a dearth of research on the topic. There were problems with the research which had previously been conducted: much of it had been limited to acculturated Hispanics; or did not capture urban consumers; or did not lend itself to longitudinal studies (Greenberg, 1998, p. 10).

Now complete the remaining task questions.

Extract 1

Strack (1992) argues that people may engage in a judgement correction process subsequent to forming their initial judgement about a product. This correction process may occur when people perceive that potentially biasing influences may have affected their initial judgements (Martin and Achee 1992).

Your answer:

Journal

Magazine

Extract 2

E-commerce is creating some unlikely bedfellows in South Korea. The country's chaebols, or family-run business groups, are going on-line, but they are hamstrung in the rapidly morphing market by their lack of flexibility. Meanwhile many of the nation's dotcoms are going broke as the money bubble bursts. The result? A blossoming of alliances between the two that could signal a fundamental change to the chaebols' monopolistic ways.

Your answer:

Journal

Magazine

Extract 3

In the drug business, marketing is now as important as science.

Most people in the pharmaceutical industry firmly believe that successful drugs are the result of breakthrough science. Drug companies have notoriously high R and D budgets, and the output of their new product development tends to be prolific. The Swiss drug giant, Novartis, for example, has 166 projects under development. Indeed, a large proportion of the recent M and A activity in pharmaceuticals has been driven by a desire to expand the R and D pipeline.

R and D = research and development

Your answer:

Journal

Magazine

Extract 4

Every day, U.S. consumers are exposed to no less than 1000 commercial messages (Kotler 1997). Regardless of their content and the techniques they employ, most messages share a common final goal: persuading target consumers to adopt a particular product, service or idea.

Your answer:

Journal

Magazine

Extract 5

Figure 1 summarises the key issues in addressing information assymetry about product quality, which occurs for "experience products" (Nelson 1974), that is, products whose quality can be evaluated only after purchase. Quality-sensitive buyers are unsure about the true quality of the seller's product.

Note: Information assymetry occurs where the parties have differing amounts of information regarding the transaction.

Your answer:

Journal

Magazine

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