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The Best Method on Researching a Business Subject

May 22, 2008
When you're doing research or looking for information on a particular subject, it's a lot like a detective checking all his possible clues. The important thing is to know who or where your sources are.

In almost all instances, your first move should be to your encyclopaedia. If you don't have an up-to-date set, there's always your public library.

Most of the time, an encyclopaedia will give you at least the general facts about your subject. You may have to check other sources for more detailed information.

Thus, your next move should be to books that have been written on the subject. The subject and title sections of the card catalogue or the bound volumes of computer print outs in most public libraries will give you plenty of listings.

Once you have selected a number of books for background information. Check the magazines either directly related to your subject, or those carrying articles on the subject. Most of the time, you'll find that magazines will provide you with more up-to-date and timely information than books.

To check out information on your subject in magazines, look in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Under subject and author headings, the complete collection of this guide will list articles printed in magazines since the turn of the century. The Suggestions for Use section will instruct you on how to read the codes under each heading. If you can't find your subject listed, think of similar subjects that might be related.

If your subject is part of a particular field of study, there may be a special index that will help you. Among these special indexes, you'll find: Art Index, Business Periodicals Index, Consumers Index, Education Index, Humanities Index, Social Sciences Index, Biological and Agricultural Index, and Applied Sciences and Technology Index. You'll even find a Popular Periodicals Index which lists articles that have appeared in currently popular magazines.

You'll also find that most newspapers are veritable goldmines of reference material. Most of the big city newspapers have computerized indexes. Several of the special national newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal also have reference indexes.

Without a doubt, the New York Times Index is the most complete. In these newspaper indexes, subjects and people are listed alphabetically with the date, page number, and usually with the number of columns devoted to that particular story. About all you have to do to avail yourself of this information is to stop by the newspaper office, tell them the kind of information you're looking for, and ask their help in locating it within their index.
About the Author
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.

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