There can be major differences in some cases between academic discourse and popular discourse. Differences between academic discourse and popular discourse can vary from the value to the length to the tone to sources used. Some cases of academic discourse and popular discourse may differ slightly or in some cases to an extreme in their approach such as a fact-based paper versus an opinion-based paper. It is important that incoming first year college students can identify the differences between academic discourse and popular discourse when writing their essays to evaluate the validity of the information that they come across when performing research on a topic.
The differences between popular discourse and academic discourse vary in many degrees which will be covered along with some examples from an academic discourse, “The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in obese adults,” and the popular discourse, “Eating breakfast could help obese people get more active.” Discourses change in how the topic is conveyed to different types of audience. Popular discourse is directed at a general audience and presented in a non-technical language that is easy to comprehend, while academic discourse is usually written in a technical specialized language that is specific to a field with an audience that consist mostly of scholars, researchers and students. Authors of academic discourse are experts or specialist in a field and the name and credentials of the author are usually provided, though in popular discourse the author most likely is a staff writer or a journalist and credentials are not provided. Popular discourse is presented in a short length piece that provides a general overview of the topic compared to the longer length of an academic discourse that contains an in-depth analysis of the topic. Format and structure can vary as well. Popular discourse may not always follow a structured format. However, an academic discourse will have a more structured format and may contain things such as an abstract, literary reviews, methodology, conclusion, and bibliography/footnotes. Editors and publishers are usually a main difference between these two discourses. Academic discourse tends to be reviewed by experts in the field who critically evaluate the validity of it. Sponsors who publish the paper are usually comprised of scholarly presses, research institutions, universities, and professional organizations. In contrast popular discourse is evaluated by editors on the staff and published by commercial or trade publishers. Academic discourse also may contain graphs, tables or other special illustration which support their text. Popular discourse tends to be aimed more towards advertisement and drawing a reader’s attention. Academic discourse usually contains bibliography or cite work to confirm that the research was done thoroughly where popular discourse usually does not but may prov...