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IDH 3600.011: Seminar in Applied Business Ethics (Castricone)

Understanding Business Ethics

Before you dive into your topic-specific research, it is important to develop a foundation of understanding of the field of business ethics as a whole. CQ Researcher will give you a tidy, encyclopedia-type explanation of business ethics with corresponding examples to help you begin to develop this foundation.

Locating Resources

In addition to CQ Researcher, the library has a number of databases that will help you find specific resources to help support your paper's thesis. The two listed below are bibliographic business resources, meaning that they draw from a variety of sources (e.g., scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, newspapers, book chapters, company profiles, industry reports, etc.) and present all the findings relevant to your search in one place.

Be sure to use terminology from the list of acceptable topics when conducting your searches and then go a step further and look into the "Subject" area on the left-hand side of the page to narrow your topic to one that is manageable. 

Scholarly Versus Popular Resources

Given the advent of Google, Wikipedia, and various other online resources, it seems like everything we want to find out already lives just a touch of a screen away. Sadly, that same ease which makes finding information a snap also contributes to its unreliability. Just as easily as you can access the newest tidbit online, someone can add new false information (sometimes intentionally, but often without any ill intent).


Many professors will require that the information you cite in your papers, projects, and presentations comes from a scholarly source or a trade publication rather than a popular source. Library databases let you parse down your results to make sure you are retrieving exactly what you want to find, and they show you exactly who created that information to boot. 


Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Resources

  • These are articles written by experts in the field who have conducted extensive research. If the piece is peer-reviewed, that means a team of experts has evaluated the quality of the work and concluded that the research and methodology is sound. In other words, these resources have been vetted and have a stamp of authority. Examples include Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, etc.


Popular Resources

  • These do not have the same level of vetting as scholarly resources. Popular resources can certainly be informative, but since they are often based on opinion and are written for entertainment value, they may be less authoritative than scholarly and peer-reviewed resources. Examples include Time Magazine, Vogue, etc.

Citing Sources in Chicago

It is always important to cite your resources properly in anything you write in order to avoid plagiarism. At USF, plagiarism is taken very seriously, so be sure to cite your sources carefully and thoughtfully. 

For this class, you need to cite in Chicago Style. Below, find a guide through Purdue Owl that will give you specific examples for every source that you might use.