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SPA 302 — Business Spanish - Fall 2012

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Contacto

Caroline Bordinaro
cbordinaro@csudh.edu
(310)-243-2084
LIB SOUTH 2037J

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General Research Tips

Glossary

Search Tips and Suggestions

Books & eBooks

Journal Articles & Newspapers

Scholarly Internet Research

Country Information and Overviews

Business Communication and Cultural Information

Additional Resources

MLA Citation Style

Plagiarism


General Research Tips

Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.

Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume it's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for where to start your search.

Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task immensely easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.

Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.



Glossary

DATABASE: An organized collection of electronic information, such as photographs, addresses, or journal articles.

ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, e.g: Academic Search Premier. AKA Subscription Database.

SCHOLARLY JOURNAL: Also called academic or refereed journal. Articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication, published for a research audience, narrow focus, e.g.; International Journal of Advertising.

MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Sky & Telescope)

SUBJECT HEADINGS : Also called descriptors. Official terms used to classify items in a database.

ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article

CITATION: The basic information you need to find the full text of an article. It includes the title of the article, the author, the name of the publication, the date, the volume and issue number and the page numbers.



Search Tips and Suggestions
  • Most databases work essentially the same way and have similar features.
  • Keywords - creating an effective search:
    • Take your research question and circle the "important words".
    • Think of two or three synonyms for each important word.
    • Use these words in various combinations to get a good result (between 15-40 results is best) .
  • Find index descriptors attached to useful article citations- redo your search with these "Official Database Topic Terms".
  • USE THE HELP SCREENS!!!
  • If you can't find anything: don't give up and go to Google!
    Instead, ask a reference librarian for help.

Combining Keywords:

  • AND requires all words appear in every result: Honda AND marketing
  • OR allows one or more words to appear in every result: Honda OR Toyota
  • NOT eliminates results with the word: Honda NOT automobiles
Phrase searching--use  " ": "Nike Sportswear of America"

Books & eBooks

Search the library's online catalog to find books on any topic.  Try the following search as an example:

  • Go to the library's online catalog
  • In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject"
  • In the text area to the right, type in Latin America Business
  • For a list of other, more specific subjects, you can scroll through the list this search returns.  Click one, and you will see a list of books.
  • Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
  • Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.

Here are a few other useful subjects to search:

The library also has several collections of electronic titles (ebooks). The main collection of ebooks is called ebrary. You can find it by clicking the "Find Journal Articles Now" header on the main library page, then selecting "E" for ebrary.You can search ebrary using the same subject terms as the regular catalog.



Journal Articles & Newspapers

(Although most of the articles in our databases are in English, some are in Spanish.  You can try searching in Spanish to locate more relevant materials.)
 

Scholarly Articles

Academic Search Premier: More than 8,500 journals, including full text for more than 4,600 peer-reviewed titles.

Business Source Premier: More than 3,000 full text scholarly publications, including nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed journals.

PAIS International: Contains more than 540,100 international journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, publications of international agencies, microfiche, Internet material, and more.


Newspapers

ProQuest Newspapers: Full text of 300+ U.S. and international news sources. Some newspapers are Spanish language.

Factiva: Coverage of business, business-related issues and political/general news. Some newspapers are Spanish language.

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe: Searchable access to over 5,600 sources. Some newspapers are Spanish language.


Scholarly Internet Research

Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:

  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Useful Scholarly Websites

INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.

The Internet Public Library (IPL2) aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.

Google Scholar is Google's attempt to harness scholarly information on the Internet. You will find book chapters, conference proceedings, and citations to some scholarly journal articles. Full text is limited, so check with a librarian about how to find complete articles. (HINT: Use the Google Scholar search tab on the CSUDH library home page)

Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.



Country Information and Overviews

University Library:

  • To find books on doing business in specific countries: search the CSUDH Library Catalog,  TOROFIND , for books with doing business in or doing business with  and the name of your country listed in the title. Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the other books in that section.
  • If you don't see your country listed, or want more titles, try an on business and your country (in separate boxes).
  • If you still don't see your country listed, ask a reference librarian.

Country Overviews:

  • University Library Reference Books:

    • Statesman's Year-Book [Ref JA51.S7]
    • Europa World Year Book [Ref JN1 .E85]
    • World Almanac [Ref and 3rd floor AY67.N5 W7]
    • EIU Country Commerce series: In looseleaf binders, one for every country [Ref HG4538 C68]
    • Perspectivas Econůmicas; Washington, D.C. : Fondo Monetario Internacional, 2008 (electronic book)
  • Journal Article Databases:
NOTE: These are subscription journal article databases, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our How to Log in to the Databases from Off-Campus guide for instructions.
    • ABI/Inform Global: International business articles in magazines, scholarly and trade journals, newsletters and reports.
    • Business Source Premier: Indexes business articles from a variety of sources.
    • Lexis-Nexis: Indexes business, legal and news articles from global sources (can be confusing to search - consult a librarian)
    • Business Full-text:  indexes articles on global economics and business.
    • Factiva: Choose a free text search, or you may limit by region or subject. Excellent information, but can also be tricky to search - consult a librarian.

These general databases are not specifically business-related, but can be good for information on country information and current news:

  • Academic Search Premier: Indexes journals from a variety of disciplines. Full-text available.
  • ProQuest Databases: Search across disciplines and topics to find newspapers, magazines, journals, reports, and other formats. Lots of full text!
  • Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega: Multi-topic database containing full text articles from a variety of sources.
  • Internet Resources:

US Government sites and academic resources:

    • Country Studies: Area Handbooks : Prepared by the Library of Congress for U.S. military and foreign service personnel, these offer a brief history of a country, describe its culture and survey the country's economic and political environment. They are book length reports which can be retrieved a section at a time.
    • Market Research Library and Country Commercial Guides : Prepared by the U.S. Commercial Service. Detailed summaries of political and economic conditions. Provides guides for marketing U.S. products and describe potential sectors for U.S. investing and exports. Change Report Type to Country Commercial Guides [CCG]
    • Background Notes : Produced by the U.S. State Department. Contains brief overviews of countries, their governments and history.
    • Travel Warnings & Country Specific Information : Briefings for U.S. travelers and expatirates about conditions they might encounter when traveling in other countries.
    • globalEDGE : Hosted by Michigan State University, a portal to information on international business.
    • World Factbook: From the CIA, an annual summary of basic intelligence on all countries of the world.
    • International Economic Trends: From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. A compilation of data on the G-7 countries and the euro area, including output, inflation, labor markets, interest rates, government budgets, international trade, and more.
  • International Information:
    • HINT: Most countries interested in international trade and development will have a website dedicated to promoting trade. Try a search on international trade or direct foreign investment to find the closest match.
    • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development -- "Working toward the integration of developing countries in to the world economy." Many useful reports and statistics, and a very user-friendly search engine. Available in English, French and Spanish.
    • World DataBank Development Indicators: From the World Bank. Search on 54 timeseries indicators for 208 countries and 18 groups, spanning the latest 5 years available.
    • World Bank Countries and Regions: Economic overview and current news. Search by country.
  •  Commercial and private sites:


Business Communication and Cultural Information

University Library

  • Use TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and click on the tab. Search on intercultural communication (as a subject) and (in Any Field) in separate boxes.
  • The Doing Business In... series has some information on cultural norms and communication etiquette: go to TOROFIND and search on the title doing business in or doing business with, and look for your country listed in the title.
  • If you still don't see your country listed, ask a reference librarian.

Some suggested titles:

 Journal Article Databases

NOTE: These are subscription journal article databases, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our How to Log in to the Databases from Off-Campus guide for instructions.

  • ABI/Inform Global: International business articles in magazines, scholarly and trade journals, newsletters and reports.
  • Business Source Premier: Indexes business articles from a variety of sources.
  • Lexis-Nexis: Indexes business, legal and news articles from global sources (can be confusing to search - consult a librarian)
  • Business Full-text:  indexes articles on global economics and business.
  • Factiva: Choose a free text search, or you may limit by region or subject. Excellent information, but can be confusing to search - consult a librarian. 

These are general databases, not specifically business-related, but very good for information on communications, etiquette and current news:

  • Academic Search Premier: Indexes journals from a variety of disciplines. Full-text available.
  • ProQuest Databases: Search across disciplines and topics to find newspapers, magazines, journals, reports, and other formats. Lots of full text!
  • Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega: Multi-topic database containing full text articles from a variety of sources. 

Internet Resources



Additional Resources

World Wide Web: Generally Available Resources



MLA Citation Style

This style of formatting and citation is maintained by the Modern Language Association, and is usually used in the humanities, such as English. The information you need to properly cite a source you're quoting in your paper varies depending on the source, but you will usually need:

Author - The person or people who wrote the source.  This can sometimes be a company or government agency, and in some cases may not be possible to determine.

Title - The title of the source you are using.  For journal articles or newspaper articles, you will need both the title of the article and the title of the journal or newspaper.

Date of Publication - When was the source published?  For journals or newspapers, you will also need the volume and issue number, if available.

Publisher Information (books only) - Who published the source?

Page Numbers (articles only) - The pages on which the source begins and ends.

Once you have all this information, you will need to format it so that it fits MLA style.  The citation will differ depending on what kind of source you are using.  Here are a few examples, taken from the MLA handbook (on hold at the reference desk):

Journal Article
Piper, Andrew.  "Rethinking the Print Object: Goethe and Book of Everything."
     PMLA 12.1 (2006): 124-38. Print.

Newspaper Article
Jeromack, Paul.  "This Once, a David of the Art World Does Goliath a Favor."
     New York Times 13 July 2002, late ed.: B7+ . Print.

Book
Habord, Janet.  The Evolution of Film: Rethinking Film Studies. Cambridge:
     Polity, 2007. Print.

Each of these looks slightly different; In general though, the format is similar.  Titles of books and journals are in italics, while book chapters or article titles are in quotes.  The hanging indent (the space on the second line of the citation) is an important feature to keep in mind. The library has a more detailed tutorial on how to cite your sources, which can be accessed through this link: http://library.csudh.edu/info/guides/citesrc.shtml

Another excellent resource is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL), available here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/  But be warned that the OWL is such a good resource that it usually goes down towards the end of the semester due to overuse.

The librarians at CSULA have an excellent overview of MLA style with links to additional resources here.

As mentioned earlier, the library also keeps a copy of the current MLA style guide at the reference desk.  Just stop by and ask the librarian on duty to borrow it.



Plagiarism

What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

In essence, when you quote or paraphrase from somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.