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Business Administration 105W

Designed to help students working on writing assignments in this class.

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Databases for Finding Articles on the Topic Assignments

Searching Strategies

There are two keys to success in finding information on any topic: knowing where to look and knowing how to search.  The databases listed above are good places to start searching, but if you are using those databases you have to know how to look for what you want to find.  There are several techniques for breaking down your topic so that you can find articles on it -- here are three techniques that I recommend for this class.

1.  Standard Searching.  You know your topic, but you do not know what is written about it.  Let's say that you are writing about the President's proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.  There is a lot written about that topic and much of it is politically charged.  To find actual research ab out its effectiveness, you need to break down the topic into its components parts.  For this topic, those would be:

Border wall


United States

Any article that will help you write your paper would have to discuss those three topics.  But you still will find way too much and will want to narrow it down further.  Think of other topics that can be combined with those above.  You might want to add terms like:



design and construction

Adding additional concepts helps you focus your search.  The more terms you use, the less results you will get. 

2.  Pro/Con Searching.  This method is very good for finding information on more controversial topics.  Begin with the Opposing Viewpoints database (see above) and enter your topic.  You should get articles that cover both sides of the issue.  These provide you with the arguments for and against your topic, plus credible articles on each side. 

3.  Building on Known Sources.  If you have even one good article on your topic, you can build on that by using citations.  First, go through the references of your article to see what it cited, some of which will be useful.  Then go to Google Scholar and enter your original article.   You will find other academic articles similar to yours, plus you can see what articles cited your original. 



Citing Your Sources