For your paper, you will have to support your theories about your topic with academic research articles instead of more prevelent popular sources.
"Academic" and "popular" are terms used to describe a source's content, purpose, audience and more. Popular sources are useful for getting ideas for a topic or for background and anecdotal information. They written for a general audience, and use non-technical language.
Typically, however, you should support your arguments by citing scholarly academic articles, which contain original research written by experts. Peer reviewed research consists of articles written by scholars, usually describing a study or experiment, and published in scholarly/academic journals for other researchers to read. Before published, the articles are vetted by other scientists to ensure accuracy and adherance to scientific and ethical standards.
Watch the video below for more information about telling the difference between something from a scholarly journal and a popular publication.