Term Paper Strategies
Center for Business Research
Talk to the CBR
librarians: They can help you narrow your topic and suggest appropriate
Choose and Define Your Topic
Deciding on a topic can be one of the hardest parts of writing a research
paper. Sometimes the topic you have in mind is too broad and you
find yourself drowning in information, or sometimes the topic is too narrow,
and the information is minimal. Other times, you only have a vague
idea of what you want to write about. Remember, deciding on a topic,
narrowing it, and refining it is all part of the research process, and the
steps you are taking in defining and redefining your topic will actually
help you when it's time to sit down and write. Give yourself some
time in the library so that you can go through this process.
Below are some tools that can help you find a topic:
Conference Board Index:
The Conference Board publishes reports for business executives on a variety
of topics and trends. This index is especially helpful for finding
reports on management issues. It is arranged by subject.
General BusinessFile ASAP:
This InfoTrac database provides comprehensive indexing of business magazines,
journals, and newspapers. Many of the topics are narrowed into subdivisions
with links to additional information, as well as "see also" entries which provide suggested topics
that you may also wish to look at. A large number of the articles
Once you have decided on a topic and refined it,
it's time to find books, articles, and other materials about your subject.
can help you use the databases and the library catalog to locate relevant
materials. The resources listed below will also he helpful.
Annual Reports, 10-K's:
Available in several of our databases as well as on the companies' websites,
these reports for publicly traded companies contain financial data, information
about directors and key executives, lines of business and more. A
10-K is one of the reports that a publicly traded company must submit to
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An annual report is
one that the company puts out to promote itself. While it may contain
very detailed and factual information about the company, keep in mind that
the annual report is designed to put the company in the best light possible.
Look at other sources for a well rounded view of the company.
Provides current information on a variety of business topics. Remember
that anyone can create a web page so always check the source and validity
of the information. Sometimes the Internet provides easy access to
what you need, but other times it's faster to come into the library.
Try our WWW
Business Sources page, but feel free to talk to a CBR
librarian to discuss your information needs.
There are several online
databases available in the library and on the University network that
can help students gather information for their term papers. While
these are available through the internet and may look like just any other
web site, they are specialized databases that provide article listings
from major magazines, newspapers, and journals. The databases frequently
provide full-text coverage. The database page includes descriptions of the
databases arranged by subject:
Accounting and Taxation,
International Business, and
The CBR has one of the most extensive business
periodical collections on Long Island, including general business,
trade magazines and academic journals. Trade magazines cover a specific
industry and provide up-to-date information on trends, forecasts, and new
developments and products within that industry. Periodicals are a
great source for current information.
When you have completed your research, you may want to refer to a style
manual available in the Reference Department or from the Citation
Style for Research Papers web page.
Nancy Marino &