Using the NMC Journal List:
Scholarly and Popular articles: Do you know the difference? Most college work requires scholarly publications, materials written by content specialists, often containing research.
This YouTube video created by Cornell University outlines how to distinguish between the two types of materials.
Popular articles are found in magazines and newspapers. Time and People are good examples. Articles in these publications are written by journalists and are intended for general readers.
Scholarly articles are found mostly in journals. Titles like the Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Dentistry for Children are examples. Articles in these publications are written by experts, people with degrees in the field of study. Often these journals are peer-reviewed, meaning a group of content specialists in the field (peers) reviewed the articles prior to publication to verify the authenticity of the work.
There is one more category of magazines/journals sometimes referred to as commentary sources. These are materials written by academics and scholars, but are not research based. Examples include Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, and Commonwealth. Here you'll find commentaries on issues of the day. Consult these sources when you want intelligent analysis, but not necessarily research on a topic.
Make sure you know what your assignment requires.