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COM362 - Business and Sustainability

Identify your research question

Begin your research with a general topic of interest and use the following tools to get an overview of the topic:

  • Scholarly sources you already have on the topic (course reserves, required readings etc.) check the citations for more sources on the topic.
  • Subject specific reference tools such as encyclopedias, handbooks, and textbooks
  • Summon, Google Scholar and subject specific databases for 2-3 journal articles on the topic
  • News databases may also help you identify a topic of current debate

Read the sources located in the preliminary research to determine:

  • What research questions have been generated from the topic
  • From what perspective you may approach this topic

Formulate a focused and specific research question. For help forming your research question consult resources from UVic's Centre for Academic Communication or the following ebook:

Keyword searching

After you have formulated a good research question, the next step is to identify the search terms to conduct library research.

  • Key words in your research question are often the search terms.
  • Think of possible synonyms/variants of those key words, especially those terms used by other researchers. This is an iterative process and you will uncover new keywords as you start to review sources.

Watch the following video (2:45min) to find out how to turn your paper topic into searchable keywords.

Watch the following video (3:08min) to find out how to combine your keywords using Boolean operators in order to narrow your search and find just what you need.

 

Example:

How will corporate social responsibility affect my bottom line?

("corporate social responsibility" OR csr OR "sustainability") AND ("bottom line" OR profit) AND Canad*

 

See UVic Libraries search tips for additional information:

 

Test your knowledge with our tutorial:

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.