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A Book

Cover of book, "The Unexpected legacy of Divorce -- a 25 year landmark study" by Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee

29 Years Later

September 2000

Findings from the 25-year study are expanded into a book. Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandy Blakeslee publish The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study.

Wallerstein, Judith, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee. The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study. 1st ed. New York: Hyperion, 2000. ISBN 0-7868-6394-3 Jacket design by Ashwini M. Jambotkar

Books can be popular or scholarly or a combination of both. Widespread popular interest in many social science topics can blur the line between scholarly research and popular books.

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce is a combination since:

Popular Book Characteristics
AUDIENCE: General public
AUTHOR: Journalists, professional writers, or sometimes scholars
TIMELINESS: Not as current as magazines or journals (although books on current events or scandals are sometimes rush released to capitalize on public interest).
CONTENT: Provides more information than a magazine article, but is still a popularized treatment of a subject (such as a book that rewrites scholarly research in simpler language with more personal-interest stories). Does not usually back up information with footnotes and bibliographies citing other research.
TYPE OF SOURCE: Secondary, unless it's an autobiography, diary, or collection of letters
Scholarly Book Characteristics
AUDIENCE: Scholars and students
AUTHOR: Professors or scholars in the field
SELECTION PROCESS: Editorial review
TIMELINESS: Takes at least several years for a book about a research project to be written.
CONTENT: Covers one subject in great depth, or brings together essays on similar topics. Backs up information with footnotes and bibliographies citing other research.
TYPE OF SOURCE: Secondary

Popular magazines
Popular magazines publish stories about the book. In "Should You Stay Together for the Kids?" (September 24, 2000), Time reports on the book's major findings, gives advice to its readers, and relates stories about children of divorce.

Popular Magazine Characteristics
AUDIENCE: General public
WRITTEN BY: Journalists
SELECTION PROCESS: Editorial review
TIMELINESS: Usually several days to a week behind events
CONTENT: Summarizes the research in non-technical terms and uses stories and quotes from individuals to illustrate the findings. Does not publish any new research and does not give footnotes or references for the information.
TYPE OF SOURCE: Primary when reporting on news events. In this case, secondary because the article is reviewing or publicizing a book.

WANT MORE on magazines?
&gt: Unit 9 > Evaluating Sources > Type of Periodical

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