UCB Libraries

WRTG 3040: Writing on Business and Society

  • Search


  • Background
  • Business
  • Supporting
  • Writing
    & Citing
  • Resource


Search Strategy


The Search Strategy Process Worksheet


Think before you search! No matter which search tool you use (databases, Google, interviews), it always helps to have a search strategy. A little planning at the beginning of your research process will save time. Frame your search strategy in terms of the data pieces you will need to make your recommendation.


  • What types of information will you need in order to support your idea?
  • What might that information look like?
  • Who might keep track of that information?
  • Is the information likely to be freely available or hidden behind a paywall?
  • Is there more than one keyword that could describe the concept?


For information on choosing the right keywords and using them effectively, see this guide.



Using the Library


If you do your homework away from campus, you'll need to connect through the VPN. Problems with the VPN software should be referred to OIT, the Office of Information Technology.


In addition to books and periodicals in print, CU provides access to a huge number of subscription websites, article databases, and ebooks. Finding these resources can be tricky. If you need a refresher on how to find books, journals, articles, or data owned by the Library, see the "How do I...?" pages.


Of course you will search the Internet or newspapers for general information, but limiting your search to freely-available sources alone may significantly impact your understanding of the big picture.


Research Help


Have questions about using RefWorks, the library catalog, or library databases? Feel free to ask me. I'm available for consultation via email or in person by appointment.

Matt Brower


(303) 492-7156; Koelbel 200F





Reference Sources

Reference sources (such as encyclopedias) are an ideal place to find background information on your topic.


Sage E-Reference

Search the online version of Sage encyclopedias in humanities, social sciences and business.


For an overview of CSR topics and issues, see the "Corporate Social Responsibility" entry in the Encyclopedia of Management.



CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy.


In terms of Corporate Social Responsibility topics, CQ Researcher is a great source for specific aspects of CSR. Try searching for business ethics, factory farms, recycling, or philanthropy. Use the contacts section to find activist groups, lobbyists, or government agencies associated with your topic.




GREENR: The Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources.


This database focuses on the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues. Topic, organization, and country portals form research centers around issues covering energy systems, health care, agriculture, climate change, population, and economic development. Portals include authoritative analysis, academic journals, news, case studies, legislation, conference proceedings, primary source documents, statistics, and rich multimedia.






Company Research

The availability of information about a company depends on whether the company is public or private. Public companies release a great deal of information through annual reports and SEC filings. Privately held companies are not required to disclose information about their business, thus limiting the amount of information that can be found.


Business Insights: Global

Research and analyze companies, industries, and economies around the world.


Hoover's provides company profiles, a corporate directory (searchable by company name, industry, ticker symbol, sales, location), market quotes, and business news. Additional information includes lists of officers, short biographies, and corporate financial data.


Local Business Resources

Reference USA

Search for businesses by name, keyword, location, or industry. Financial information, employees, and operating expenses are listed as available, even for small businesses.


Boulder County Business Report: Business news, analysis, data, and statistics for Boulder and Broomfield counties. Access the library's subscription content using the link above for full-text articles, or browse headlines at www.bcbr.com.


Industry Research

Industry surveys can be used for information about the current business environment, regulations, developments, and issues that impact companies.



Market Research


Mintel Market Reports contains information on consumer trends, demographic profiles, brand share, and market drivers. Search by product, lifestyle attribute, or company.

NOTE: Use is restricted to current UCB students and faculty with a valid Colorado.edu email address. After agreeing to the academic terms of use, click the link for "create a personal profile" and use your Colorado.edu email address for the account.



Articles & Case Studies

News & Trade Articles

  • Factiva features full-text articles from major world business and financial news sources, company reports, and financial market information. The search interface can be tricky, but the scope of coverage is unmatched.

  • Lexis Nexis Academic also provides full-text articles, news transcripts, country economic and political risk reports, and legal cases.

  • Business & Industry has full-text articles from trade and business publications. Good for industry trends, marketing, strategy, operations, and management best practices.


Scholarly Articles

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources: How do I determine...?


  • Business Source Complete (EBSCO) includes full text and abstracts from over 1200 scholarly journals and business periodicals covering topics such as management, economics, finance, accounting, international business and more.

  • ABI/Inform (ProQuest) offers more than 2,965 full-text titles covering business and economic conditions, corporate strategies, management techniques, as well as competitive and product information. Its international coverage gives researchers a complete picture of companies and business trends around the world.


Case Studies

One example is "Confronting Obesity: A Case Study of the Corporate Social Responsibility of McDonald's" by John A. Fortunato.



Business Insights: Global

Research and analyze companies, industries, and economies around the world.

This database contains rankings from the publications Business Rankings Annual and Market Share Reporter. Examples include:


Two annual publications offer business rankings at the local level. Topics include fastest-growing public and private companies, women- and minority-owned businesses, best places to work, and profiles of local entrepreneurs and philanthropists.




In addition to general "Top 10" lists and brand share rankings, there are hundreds of lists covering a huge range of (sometimes unexpected) topics.


Government Sources


FDsys: the best source for government documents such as committee prints, the US Code, court opinions, presidential documents, and congressional hearings.


FDsys enables GPO to manage Government publications from Congress and Federal agencies that are submitted to GPO in digital form, gathered from Federal Web sites, and created by scanning previously printed publications.


The Government Information Library is an amazing resource for the CU community! Explore the country and subject guides, and be sure to visit the blog for interesting posts about Government Info.



Statistics and Data


ProQuest Statistical Insight


Statistics Databases: US data


Statistics Databases: Worldwide data




Citation Styles & Management

For information about citing print and electronic sources in a range of styles, see “How to Cite a Source.”


The APA Style is most often used in the social sciences. For complete guidelines, consult the APA Handbook.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th edition, Washington, DC : American Psychological Association, 2010.

Call number: BF76.7 .P83 2010.

For quick answers to common APA questions, see the Purdue OWL Site: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/


Writing a longer paper and need to keep track of citations? RefWorks is a web-based citation management tool that allows you to save citations and retrieve them later using "Find it at CU" buttons. Citations from most databases can be easily exported directly to RefWorks.



Need More Help?

Wondering if you're citing something correctly? Or maybe you need help with structuring your paper? Take advantage of the CU Writing Center. Making an appointment with a consultant at the Writing Center allows you to receive one-on-one help with your writing.


Want to speak with a librarian right now? You can contact us in person, via the phone, or even over IM. Use the Ask Us page to chat with a librarian even if you're away from campus.