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Business: Getting Started

Provides links to resources and research guides in business


This guide will help you with research and public speaking assignments on business-related topics. You will find lists and descriptions of our resources. You will find guides and tutorials on finding print books in our library; on finding electronic books in our databases; on finding articles, documentaries and other resources available in our databases. You will also find  useful, reliable resources available on the open web. Finally, you will find lists of suggested topics and resources designed to help you choose and narrow down topics.

Please do not hesitate to contact us and ask us for help with topics or finding resources. You will see on this page all the different ways you can contact us if you are not on campus. If you are on campus we would welcome you and any questions or requests for help.

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Text: (502) 791-7995

Call: (270) 706-8812

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Research Consultations

If you are a student or faculty member who would like one-on-one help with a reference librarian, contact Katie Meyer (270) 706-8443 or Laurie MacKellar (270) 706-8439 to set up a research appointment.

Resources for Finding Topics

From Our Library

Subject Finder. Gale OneFile. Economics and Theory.

Type in a topic. If you type in Customer Satisfaction you will see topics that begin with Customer. Click on Search. Click on Subdivisions to see more specific topics under the main topic. Click on Related Subjects. You will see other ways of phrasing your search. For example, you might try your search using the word Consumer rather than Customer. While in Gale OneFile you can simply click on links rather than try new searches. 

NewsBank: America's News. Scroll down the home page until you see Suggested Topics. Click on Business and Economics. Click on any of the links to see suggested searches and articles

Resources from Other Libraries

Business Topics/Keywords. Funderburg Library. Manchester University. Used with persmission. 

Research Topic ideas. Business Topics. Thompson Library. University of Michigan - Flint. Used with persmission. 


Resources for Background Reading

Britannica Academic. Made available through the Kentucky Virtual Library. Contains articles and videos on a wide range of topics. Includes the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Be aware that you may find your topic within an article on another topic. For example, if you type in "Customer Satisfaction" you will pull up a very lengthy and detailed article on Marketing.

Credo Reference. Contains 3.5 million articles from over a thousand titles. Choose broader topics such as Marketing - look at the suggested narrow topics at the right of the screen.

Tips for Searching Credo Reference

Click on the menu and click on Topics


Click on the three bars in the upper left corner. This takes you to a menu that includes   TOPICS. Click on TOPICS.





Choose Topics from the Menu

When you click on the triple bars the menu pops up. You will see Topics. Click on Topics. Then click on the drop-down next to All Subjects







Click on the drop down arrow next to All Subjects

Click on All Subjects










Click on Business, Finance and Economics

Click on Business. Finance and Economics

Getting Started

Research Steps

Selecting a topic

You may get some ideas from your textbook, lectures or class discussion. You may also get ideas from news sources. Maybe your instructor will assign or suggest topics. You may get ideas from news sites or topic lists. The Resources for Finding Topics box on this page will list some topics.

Background Reading

Never skip this step. You may do background reading more than once during your research process. When you are looking for topics do some background reading on topics suggested by your instructor or listed under the TOPICS box.

Where do you go for background reading? Print encyclopedias, online encyclopedias. Your textbook. General overview web resources. Newspapers and news sites. Look at the Resources for Background Reading on the left of this screen.

Perhaps you are planning to major in marketing. What can you do with marketing? That is an extremely broad topic. Perhaps you are planning to own or manage a small business. You would like to learn more about marketing and small businesses.

Your background reading will help you learn more about the different approaches to marketing products and services. You may become interested in technology and marketing. Internet-based tools develop rapidly and businesses may use new tools to market their products. You would like to look into the tools that have been used successfully for small businesses.
Phrase your topic as a question. What technology-based tools have been used successfully by small businesses to promote their products and services?


Begin thinking about keywords. You will be using keywords to search the various catalogs and databases. For this topic you could add terms like "effectiveness" or "success" or "best practices" or "assessment." You will use the phrase "small business." You will use terms such as "marketing," "promotion," "product "promotion," "advertising." For the technology aspect you would use "technology," "technological innovation," "digital," "digital marketing," "technology," "Internet," "Web-based," or the names of specific tools such as "YouTube."

You may start by writingyour search as "small business and Internet marketing." As you read further you may wish to add terms to narrow your topic further. Perhaps you wish to study the marketing of specific types of small businesses or the usage of specific tools, using "small business and Internet marketing and YouTube." You might try using "Internet advertising" instead of "Internet marketing." Compare your results. 

Once you have your search terms you can begin searching. You may want to start with books. Try to locate books on your topic. We have print books and we have the eBook collections. You will also look for magazine, journal and newspaper articles, reliable open access websites. You may also find useful some of the documentaries available through Films on Demand.

Evaluating Resources

Evaluating Resources

Make sure that the resources you choose are credible. Not sure? Look at the Evaluating Resources guide prepared by ECTC's Library Director


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Laurie Mackellar