1) Is the sample size appropriate? Was a control group used? Were the presented data statistically treated? Were the experiments well standardized? In summary: Were the experiments carried out according to the scientific method?
2) Were the conclusions derived from the results of the reported experiments?
3) Were statements not based on experiments supported by scientific article references?
4) Is the abstract appropriate? Does the title describe the article content?
5) Were the keywords well selected?
6) Are the references current?
7) Was the research subject relevant from either the social or academic viewpoint?
8) Does the article contribute new information or does it repeat what is known?
From De Avila, P., & Torres, B. B. (2010). Introducing undergraduate students to science. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 38(2), 70-78.
There are a couple of ways you can tell if a journal is peer-reviewed:
You've been asked to find at least one primary research articles. Primary sources in this case:
You may also choose to use some secondary sources (summaries or interpretations of original research) such as books (find these through the library catalog) or review articles (articles which organize and critically analyze the research of others on a topic). These secondary sources are often useful and easier-to-read summaries of research in an area. Additionally, you can use the listed references to find useful primary research articles.