For research assignments, a professor may require that you use "scholarly" or "peer reviewed" journals. These are journals whose purpose is to disseminate new findings, results of studies, theories, etc.
Scholarly journals are written and edited by professors and researchers. Before publication, articles are reviewed by other researchers in the field of interest, hence the name "peer reviewed."
Many Library databases allow you to limit your search results to peer reviewed articles..
Authors are scholars writing about their own research. They are usually affiliated with a college, university, or research institue and that affiliation will be stated
Articles are reviewed by a board of experts ("peer reviewed")
Trade journals are written for "insiders" in a particular industry. Some may look similar to popular journals, but they aren't intended for a general readership.
Authors are usually specialists in the field, sometimes journalists
Popular publications include news, feature stories, opinion/editorial pieces, etc. They are meant to inform and entertain.
Usually a bright, glossy, eye-catching cover
Articles short to medium length
Lots of advertising for general consumer products
Colorful photos and illustrations
Authors are magazine staff members or free-lance writers
No editorial peer-review process
Written to appeal to a broad segment of the population.
Articles written for a general audience; fairly jargon-free