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BUS 561: Library Guide

1. Introduction

This course guide has been designed as a starting point for the research you will need to do to complete your course assignments.  It focuses on resources you can use to find company and industry information for your equity research report and also highlights available resources for further developing your academic skills.

For general information about library services available to you, see our guide on Library Guide for Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership.

2. Getting help

Here's how to get help with your research or any questions you may have about the library:

a) For the fastest answer, contact SFU's reference librarians through our Ask a Librarian services. Email questions are typically answered in one business day (or less!), or you can connect directly to a librarian via phone or online chat. See our hours page for more info (click on the carat symbol beside Bennett or Belzberg Libraries to see reference/research desk hours specifically).

If you are near one of the SFU campuses (Vancouver, Burnaby, or Surrey) during your time in residence, you could also visit the closest library and get help at the reference desk.

b) 

Contact Moninder Lalli, your Graduate Business Librarian, directly at or 778.782.4264 (Burnaby); 778-782-5043 (Vancouver) (email is often the quickest way to reach me). During busy times of term, it may take me a day or so to respond, but I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can. 

Typical questions: "I'm trying to find articles on Aboriginal business development and can't seem to find anything in the Business Source Complete database. Can you help?" ...or... "I'm trying to find ABC information about this company/industry/market and I've already tried YY and ZZ. Is there somewhere else I could try?"

Bottom line: for any questions (big or small), get in touch with us! There's no wrong place to start, and we'll help you get sorted out.

Good luck with your research!

3. Time management

Effective time management is key to the success of your assignments, and SFU Library has many resources to help with this:

4. Equity research report assignment

This assignment requires you to spend some time researching a publicly traded company. You may need to start with some initial exploration to settle on a company for which you can support a "buy" recommendation. In order to produce your equity research report, you'll need to locate several types of information about your chosen company, as outlined in your assignment.

Key resources

The SFU Library has many different resources that contain company-specific information, but here are a couple of the best places to begin your research:

Mint Global
Covers 60,000 publicly-traded companies from around the world, as well as 8 million private companies (many outside of North America). Includes detailed financials, company news stories, ownership information, MarketLine (formerly DataMonitor) company and industry reports, and more.

Search and select your company of interest. On the following page, use the green "everything" tab at the top to view all available information for a company (it may take a few minutes to load), or use the "by section" tab to view a specific section of the report.

Hoover's Company Reports
Includes key financial details as well as lists of top officers and main competitors. Most companies are publicly-traded and based in the USA or Canada, although some non-North American and some privately owned companies are also covered. Hoover's also includes basic overviews of key industries.

Use the main search bar to look up a company name. For many companies, Hoover's will have both "basic" and "in-depth" records, with the second providing far more detailed information.

TIP: Check out our Company Information research guide if you'd like to explore some of our other excellent sources of info on publicly traded companies.

5. AFTER your search

5.a. Writing your report

Research is only half the battle! You also need to communicate your findings in a clear, well-structured paper.

To learn more about writing skills on your own, try exploring the following SFU Library pages for a wealth of resources on paper structure, spelling, punctuation, and more:

As a start, you might want to check out our Top 10 Self-Help Editing Tips and other Self-Help Editing Resources. Or if you need some guidance on using commas, Capital Community College's Rules for Comma Usage provides a good overview of common pitfalls and ends with a number of interactive quizzes, so that you can test your knowledge.

SFU Library also provides different types of personalized writing support to help you improve your skills in this area.

Online assistance from wherever you are located:

WriteAway
Get online writing help from an e-tutor. Works best if you can submit a draft of your assignment at least a week in advance. You will need to create a free account the first time that you use the service.

In-person assistance during your time of residence at SFU:

Writing consultations
Book an appointment with a writing facilitator for a time when you will be on an SFU campus. Regular writing consultations can be requested. If you have a longer piece of writing that you would like the facilitator to review in advance, use the Read Ahead service to request a consultation. Works best if you can make your request 1-2 weeks in advance.  Fill in the Consultation/Read Ahead request form to book an appointment.

Drop-in writing assistance
if you will be on an SFU campus, and haven't booked a writing consultation in advance, you can check if there are any drop-in hours available to meet with a writing peer. You will need to create an account to see the schedule or reserve a time slot.

5.b. Citing your sources

You also need to correctly cite all of the books, journal articles, and websites that you used in your research. Start with the SFU Library's guide and online tutorial to APA Style. Another key resource is our Citation guide for Business Sources (APA 6th ed.), which provides guidance on citing business sources not usually covered in general style manuals (e.g. company reports from our Mint Global database).

A couple of other guides you may want to start with are Citing Sources (Duke University Libraries) and the APA's own APAStyle Blog,where experts provide advice on tricky citation situations.

Note also that some of our journal article databases (such as Business Source Complete and CBCA) will provide a rough (machine- generated) APA-formatted citation for the articles they cover.  Look for a link to Cite or Citation next to the articles you want to use. Remember that you will still need to proofread these citations -- computer algorithms aren't perfect!

5.c. Plagiarism

Learning how to properly credit others when you use their ideas is a difficult, but important part of research. Start with the SFU Library's interactive tutorial "Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism" to test yourself and to learn more about plagiarism. Also read the SFU Library Guide on Plagiarism for further discussion of this critical topic and for links to other plagiarism guides.

You may also want to submit your paper to Turnitin to double check the originality of your writing. 

6. Additional resources

6.a. Computer and internet literacy skills

If you need a refresher on basic computer and internet skills, check out the Vancouver Public Library's excellent Computer Survival Guide , which links to several free, online tutorials.

Some additional online resources that you might want to explore on your own:

TIP: For in-person assistance, check out what options your local public library has to offer. Many public libraries offer introductory workshops on computer and internet skills, where you can benefit from an in-person instructor.

6.b. Business software

Our Lynda.com Online Training Library contains online courses for learning various types of business software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Note that you will need to create a Lynda.com account that allows you to access and track your progress through these series of video tutorials.