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HI308: Drug Trades in World History (Andrews): Your Task & Definitions

This guide was created to provide a starting point for researching topics in the Drugs Trades in World History course.

Your Task

Your task is to research and write a paper about the history of a single drug trade in a particular time and place(s). Your final paper will discuss the history of the trade that you have chosen, will explain why understanding this trade is interesting or important, will set up a question or hypothesis about that trade, and will argue a specific interpretation – your thesis – using the primary and secondary sources you have found as evidence.


Please keep the following definitions in mind while you are searching and evaluating the information you find.


Primary Source:
Sources that contain raw, original, non-interpreted and unevaluated information.

Secondary Source:
Sources that digest, analyze, evaluate and interpret the information contained in primary sources.

Scholarly Publication:
A journal that contains articles that have been reviewed by a panel of subject specialists or experts prior to their publication. Another term for a scholarly publication is “peer reviewed”.  A scholarly article contains a bibliography or work cited section of references. 

Non-Scholarly Publication:
A publication in which the articles are not reviewed by subject specialists prior to its publication.

A brief summary outlining the main content of a journal article or other document.  

Information identifying a publication. Details usually include author, title, date of publication, journal title, volume and page numbers. Also sometimes called a reference or source.

Interlibrary Loan:
Free service available through the Bentley Library that gives you access to materials not available here. You just fill out a form and the materials are "borrowed" from another library for you to use. If you find a citation to something you need whether an article or a book, just fill out the form online and the materials will be requested for you.