Penny's Tips and Tricks for Finding a Topic for your Business Law Paper!
Having a hard time figuring out a topic? Here are some tips that may help:
Think about something you’ve read about in the news recently! Many things can be made “businessy,” and most things can have a legal angle.
Consider your major. Is there an aspect of your major that pairs well with legal or business issues?
Browse some topics to get your mind thinking. Try looking at some of the databases in the Choosing a Topic box below.
Talk to people! Sometimes just talking helps you figure out ideas or topics you'd like to explore.
Think back over the semester. Are there any topics from class that really captured your interest?
Most important: If you are not sure of a topic, or have an idea and are not sure how to make it into a paper, talk to your professors or to your librarian! We can help!
Choosing a Topic
- Nexis UniTo look at topics, scroll down the home page till you see the tile for Business under Discover topics. Once you click Business, you can scroll and look at recent business headlines, recent Supreme Court business opinions, and recent law review article titles for ideas!
- Opposing ViewpointsThis is not a legal database, but can give you ideas about topics to research. To get started, click on the little lightbulb that says "Browse Issues." Note: Some of these topics are business related and some are not, but they can help you think about what might interest you.
- CQ ResearcherThis is not a legal database, but can give you ideas about topics to research. To get started, look at Current Issues and Topics. Note: Some of these topics are business related and some are not, but they can help you think about what might interest you.
- Access World NewsTo browse for topics, scroll down the home page until you see Hot Topics on the left side of the screen. Click there, and then scroll down the next page till you see Business & Economics. You can use the pull down menu to search by month and year.
Finding a Case
- Google ScholarTo find cases, click on Case Law, and then select which court or leave blank. Type in search words (discrimination, gender, etc.) or names from specific cases. Once you have results, you can edit by date on the left side of the screen.
- FindLawContains state and federal (including U.S. Supreme Court) case law. Run a search for case summaries or select a jurisdiction to browse court decisions.
- OyezOyez is a website with Supreme Court audio recordings of hearings. The site includes hearings since 1980 and the goal is to eventually include hearings since 1955. For selected cases argued before 1979, and for nearly all cases argued after 1979, the site provides unofficial versions of the transcripts, along with the audio whenever available. Once you have found your case, click on the "Expanded View" to obtain the printed transcript of the oral arguments. For "Opinions", look for the section called "Case Basics" in the lower left corner of the case's page, and click on the link provided for "Opinion."
- ProQuest Supreme Court InsightSupreme Court Insight, 1933-present, is a complete online collection of full opinions from Supreme Court argued cases, including per decision, dockets, oral arguments, joint appendices and amicus briefs. Content associated with each case is compiled on a dynamic page organized to facilitate understanding of the judicial process, and is also retrievable on a document by document basis.
- Nexis UniTo look for cases, scroll down the home page until you see Guided Search, then click on Cases. Then you can select federal or state cases, and type in search words to find cases.
Using Law Journals and Databases
- HeinOnlineHeinOnline is the world’s largest fully searchable, image-based government document and legal research database. It contains comprehensive coverage from inception of more than 2,300 scholarly journals; U.S. Statutory materials; all of the world’s constitutions; all U.S. treaties; collections of classic treatises and presidential documents; access to the full text of state and federal case law powered by Fastcase; and more.
- Nexis UniReplaces LexisNexis Academic.
More than 15,000 news, business, and legal sources from LexisNexis—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.
News and Magazine Articles
- FusionFusion allows you to search, in one place, the majority of the library’s books, articles, videos, etc. It includes all the materials in our library catalog Ignacio, as well as the content of the majority of our many databases.
Other Useful Legal Resources
- WexWex is a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts.
Citing Your Sources
Whenever you do research, you will need to cite the information sources that you use. Most business scholars use APA style. Here are some tools that can help you with this task:
Gleeson Library's guide to citations: How? Why? When?
- APA 7th Edition Citations for Business SourcesAn excellent guide to using APA 7th edition style for popular business sources. Scroll through the guide to find an example for the business source you are using in your research. Compiled by librarians Naomi Schemm, Marcia Dellenbach, Zachary Grisham, Marianne Hageman, Natalia Tingle, Matt Trowbridge, and Amanda Wheatley
- Citing Business Databases in APA: Michigan State University GuideThis guide was created to help with citing some common business databases
- Citing Business Databases from the University of North Carolina at GreensboroThis guide has some additional business database examples in APA style.
- MLA Business Citations: Youngstown State UniversityScroll down the page to see citations for specific business web sites, reports, and databases cited in MLA style.
- Purdue OWLOur favorite style guide web site is the OWL from Purdue University.
- RefWorksRefWorks allows users to create personal databases to manage, store, and share the information citations/references. Users can automatically insert references from their database into their papers and generate formatted bibliographies and manuscripts in seconds. Create an account using your USF email address.
There are several ways to obtain assistance with your research. Read on!
You have your very own librarian! She is Penny Scott, and you can contact her for help.
Her contact information is: email: email@example.com * phone: 415-422-5389
It is best to email ahead, or make an appointment, to make sure she is available! Appointments are available virtually via Zoom, or in person, and are great for groups or individuals. If you don't see a time that works for you, email Penny.
If Penny is not available, or any time you need help, you can always get help, just Ask a Librarian!
You can also take a look at our Research Guides on many topics!