Scholarly writing or academic scholarship tends to come from people (like your professors) producing knowledge and engaging in conversation with fellow scholars in their field.
Remember- academic scholarship is only one type of information source. It isn't necessarily more valid or objective than other types of sources, you should use these sources as your research requires. Always be thinking critically about the author's methodologies and data analysis, and look for clear biases and political perspectives.
Let's look Dr. Maurantonio's article:
Maurantonio. (2021). Burning Karen’s Headquarters: Gender, Race, & the United Daughters of the Confederacy Headquarters. Memory Studies, 14(6), 1159–1172. https://doi.org/10.1177/17506980211054273
Notice the abstract summarizing the article, how the author organizes their article into a distinct structure- including an introduction explaining their research question, citations from other scholars and other kinds of sources, and a distinct structure. Depending on what the scholar's discipline is, the format of their paper may be organized a certain way, emphasizing certain elements more than others.
We gather information from all types of sources. Depending on what our project is, many types of sources might be referenced:
These types of sources can be particularly useful for curriculum or for teachers!
Our job is to be critical- always ask yourself, why is this source relevant to my research project? Why are you choosing to cite it? You might reference a source for any number of reasons. Maybe you need a collection of tweets that reflect public opinions from a specific group of people, oral histories, newspaper articles, or archival images. Regardless of whether you are looking at a scholarly article or a blog post, always make sure that you understand where the information is coming from. Look for the author's credentials and determine their areas of expertise, opinions, or biases. Analyze the publication or platform and determine its purpose or audience- is it meant to inform, persuade, or entertain? Is it intended for a scholarly audience, the general public, or a specific group of people? Remember, there is no such thing as a neutral source of information, but some sources are more subjective than others.
Let's look at Dr. Maurantonio's article again and see what sources she cited and try to understand how these sources were useful in her research. She is gathers scholarly sources, tweets, news articles, encyclopedia entries and more, to answer what does "Karen" even mean, what is the history of this archetype? All these different sources have a role to play in providing context for the article.