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Business

Welcome!

This LibGuide offers information on finding resources for business research topics.

Use the tabs in the left sidebar to navigate through the pages.

Developing a Topic

Start with an idea! The following questions may help get you started:

  • Do you have a strong opinion on a current social or political controversy?
  • Did you read or see a news story that has stimulated your interest or left you wanting to know more?
  • Do you have a personal issue, problem, or interest that you would like to know more about?
  • Is there an aspect of a class that you are interested in learning more about?

Selecting a Topic: 

Picking a topic is not always easy. It must be focused enough to be interesting, yet broad enough to find adequate information. Developing a good research question can sometimes be the most difficult part of the research process.

  • Understand your assignment parameters, requirements, and due dates.
  • Choose something that you are personally interested in.
  • Keep in mind your topic may change as you start researching.
  • Select a few topics you want to explore further and then do some investigative background research to see if you want to continue down that path. If not, try out a different topic until you find one you like.


Background Research: 

If you are unfamiliar with your potential topic, you may need to research background information before you can develop a strong research question. Background information can help you identify key names, dates, events, issues, concepts, and terms associated with the topic. 

Some good sources to find background information:


Narrowing Your Topic: 

Sometimes a topic that seems like the right size can seem way too big after you’ve learned a little more about it. When this happens, you need to narrow the focus of your topic. 

Some of the ways you can limit your topic are by:

  • Who - population or group
  • What - discipline or focus
  • Where - geographic location
  • When - time period or era
  • Why - why is the topic important?
Here's an example of narrowing a topic by population and focus:
Broad Topic: effects of using social media
Narrow Topic: the negative effects of social media on the body image of teenagers

(adapted from U of Michigan - Finding and Exploring Your Topic) 


Broadening Your Topic:

Sometimes you will find that your topic is too narrow - there is not enough published on your topic. When this happens, you can try to broaden your topic. There are a couple of strategies you can try when broadening your topic. 

One strategy is to choose less specific terms for your search:

  • Standardized Tests instead of SATs
  • Performance-Enhancing Drugs instead of Anabolic Steroids

Another strategy is to broaden your topic by changing or removing limits from the topic:

  • Who - population or group 
  • What - discipline or focus
  • Where - geographic location
  • When - time period or era 
Here's an example of making a narrow topic broader:
Narrow Topic: Does watching cartoons cause violent behaviors in children under the age of five?
Broader Topic: What are the negative effects of television viewing on children and adolescents?

(adapted from U of Michigan - Finding and Exploring Your Topic)