BUS 216: Essentials of Business Writing

Research process & databases  

Does research seem random? Do you feel like you are on a scavenger hunt? There are more efficient ways to search, and more effective places (databases) to start your search. 


Need more? We have many guides, videos, worksheets, and interactive tutorials to help you become an efficient and effective researcher!


Business Source Complete 
Best place to find both academic business journal articles and business/industry news magazines

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Journals and magazines in the field of communications such as the International Journal of Business Communication and the Harvard Management Communication Letter

Canadian Newsstream 
​Canadian newspapers

​News sources from around the world, including thousands of general news (e.g.: NYT), business news (e.g.: WSJ), and industry news (e.g.: Food Weekly News) sources

Identify & evaluate  

At least one of your sources must be from a peer‐reviewed source. Some databases provide a way to limit to "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals," but they can get it wrong. Learn to identify & evaluate sources yourself!

Key guides:  

What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal?
To help distinguish between scholarly (also known as peer-reviewed) journals, magazines, and trade publications — both print and online.

Internet research: Finding and evaluating resources
Includes the increasingly important "How to spot fake news" guide.

Key points: 

  • Are the authors academics? (Do they work in universities?)
  • Does the article have references?
  • Is the article more than just a few pages long?
  • Does the article contain new theories and/or the results of experiments developed by the authors themselves?
  • If you search the web for the journal's homepage, can you find any mention of peer reviewers or referees? Look especially for any links to an Editorial Board or Editorial Review Board filled with university professors. (Sample: Journal of Business Ethics)
  • If you search for the journal title in UIrich's Periodical Directory, does its entry indicate that it is a refereed (peer reviewed) source? (Sample: Journal of Business Ethics)

And if you're finding it difficult to read those dense academic journal articles, check out the guides and videos listed in my blog post: Baffled by dense academic writing? Start here!

Write, cite, & present


Academic Writing Resources 
Links to guides and videos from the SFU Library Student Learning Commons (SLC).

Business Writing Resources 
Links to business writing resources, including dictionaries, style guides, and more.


Some databases will create APA citations for your selected articles, but such auto-generated citations often contain errors. It's fine to use such rough citations as a starting point, but be sure to also use the guides below to learn how to apply the rules consistently and unambiguously.

Why do you need to cite your sources?  
Take the SFU Library interactive tutorial, Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism, to test yourself and use our guide to Avoiding Plagiarism to learn more about plagiarism.

APA Citation: SFU Library guide
Details on how to cite journal, newspaper, and magazine articles (online and print) as well as websites


Very few of us are born as great presenters. As with any skill, public speaking needs to be learned and to practiced. Fortunately, other people have left you lots of advice...

Business Presentations 
Our main guide to ebooks, sites, and videos full of tips on how to calm your nerves, organize your thoughts, and deliver your message

Resources to help you improve your presentation skills 
Still more resources from our Student Learning Commons


Having trouble using our databases or identifying peer-reviewed sources
Our librarians are here to help with research issues. You can get assistance through online chat service (AskAway) or in person at any of our libraries. Busy schedule? You can even book an appointment.

Or are you having trouble writing annotations that clearly summarize and explain the relevance of your sources?
Then it might be time to consult with the writing experts in our Student Learning Commons. Book a consultation before it's too late!