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HED 335 - Theories of Substance Use and Abuse

Designed to support the work of students in HED 335 - Theories of Substance Use and Abuse

Thinking About What Kind of Source is Needed

Research and Investigative Topics

When you've been asked to investigate a topic, we hope that you will take advantage of library resources.  Thinking about types of material should help.  Of course, when you are told to use peer-reviewed journal articles, you must find that kind of material, but other sources are available to provide, for example, background readings and definitions.  

Here are some of the library categories we use for both print and electronic (mostly electronic):

  • Encyclopedias
    • Encyclopedias provide background information and definitions.
    • Encyclopedias usually have brief entries or chapters explaining a topic. 
    • We also expect references and links to more information.
  • Books 
    • Books bring together known research on a topic and can be good for background information even if the newest developments aren't included.
    • As compared with an encyclopedia entry on the same topic, a book usually gives more background and detail. 
    • Expect the UT Libraries to have books on most academic subjects.  If the Libraries don't have a book you have identified as potentially helpful, just ask for it.  We will try to borrow or buy the book for you to use.
  • Journal articles and conference papers, also called "research papers" 
    • We look to these papers to provide the newest research on a topic and, when needed, details of older work.
    • To help find these papers, we recommend using indexing tools; look for (or filter for) papers marked as "scholarly", "peer-reviewed", or as a "conference paper".  
  • Magazine and newspaper articles
    • Magazine and newspaper articles are usually not considered to be research articles but may serve a role in a research project.  Again, we recommend using indexing tools to help find them; look for (or filter for) papers marked as "magazines", "newspaper", "trade", "periodical", or "popular."
    • ‚ÄčMagazine and newspaper articles provide close-to-the events and easier-to-understand reports. 


We hope that you will consider library resources when they are a good match for your work but, of course, there are important sources beyond the library.  Some examples:


  • Government resources 
    • Government agencies through their websites, databases, and publications are respected providers of statistics, facts, and analysis.  Much of the information is freely available.
    • To limit a Google search to information from government agencies, use a site limit.  For example, 

health ed google


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