Reading some business articles in your area of interest is a great way to start getting information on the general outlook and conditions in your field of interest.
Generally, articles will fall into one of three categories. Each one has different audiences and purposes:
|Intended audience||Types of content||Example|
|News articles||General public||Shorter articles
Features, current events, new trends
Written by journalists
|Wall Street Journal
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Business Journal
|Trade journals||Practitioners in a field||Mid-length articles
Usually hands-on, practical, on-the-ground
Written by a practitioner in the field
|Minority Business Entrepreneur
Restaurant Startup & Growth
|Scholarly journals||Scholars, some practitioners||Longer articles
Report on original research or new theory
Peer-reviewed by other scholar-experts prior to publication
|Business Journal for Entrepreneurs
Journal of Food Science
Journal of Information Technology
Consider these differences when searching for articles. Each may provide you with different useful information. In any of the databases below, you can limit to any one of the types.
The above databases have more than just scholarly articles for your school research papers! You can find all kinds of information on a specific company or industry, particularly in the trade journals.
Try searching for your industry with some keywords related to what you want to know. For example:
"craft beer" AND competitors
"mobile app*" AND marketing
|SWOT analysis||Financing||Financials||Market segmentation|
|Costs||Pricing||Market share||Target market|
You can also use a tool called truncation to make your searching more efficient. Many of the possible keywords above have many variations of the word. So, instead of searching finance, finances, financial, financing... and all other variations separately, search for financ* -- the asterisk tells the database, find any possible endings of this root word after the C. (Some databases may use the ? or another symbol, but most use the asterisk -- look for a Help screen if you're not sure.) Some more examples:
Market* = finds market, markets, marketing...
Analy* = finds analysis, analyses, analyze, analyzed....