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The Subject of Books

Nine Years Later


O'Connor's novel is discussed in several books as she becomes the subject of more academic study.

Books can be popular, scholarly, or a combination of both. For example, the general survey book above is written for students (characteristic of a scholarly book) but does not introduce new research or concepts (characteristic of a popular book).

Popular Book Characteristics
AUDIENCE: General public
AUTHOR: Journalists, professional writers, or sometimes scholars
SELECTION PROCESS: Selected by editors for sales potential
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 content than a magazine article, but is still a popularized treatment of a subject (such as a biography that talks more about an author's relationships or addictions than his/her work, or a history book that takes information that scholars have published and puts it in simpler language). 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 on a new topic 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.

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