For your researched analysis in English 101, you will need to find articles published in scholarly journals. Other terminology for this type of source:
So how do you know if a source is a scholarly article?
The library databases help you identify where the article is coming from. For instance, EBSCOhost databases label:
And the limiter to scholarly, peer-reviewed journals is prominent on the left side of the screen.
But it isn't as simple as clicking the limiter, because this limits the source to a scholarly journal, but not the individual articles. Scholarly journals occasionally publish news articles or editorials. Therefore you need to evaluate the specific article to see if it is scholarly.
1. Is there an author(s)?
If you cannot figure out the specific individual(s) who wrote it, you can dismiss it. There is no such thing as anonymous scholarly information.
2. Is there a bibliography or list of references?
If the article does not include a literature review of other research done on the topic, as well as listing the sources the author(s) used, it is not scholarly.
All scholarly information "stands on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton said that, and it's as true now as it was back in Newton's time. (Google Scholar uses this phrase as their motto.) Scholarly knowledge builds on what other scholars have stated.
3. Is it lengthy?
While there are exceptions, most scholarly articles are quite lengthy -- 10 to 30 pages long. (Some scientific and medical journal articles are shorter, such as 3 to 5 pages, if they are writing up the results of a concise study they did.)
As you become more familiar with college-level research, you will soon learn to spot scholarly articles by the abstracts or summaries. Most of the time the abstract states the research question, the methodology of the study, and the results.