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EAP: Home

A guide to research for EAP students at BU


This guide will include information on how to do research.

Please feel free to contact me for help!

BU Library QuickLinks

How to find general Information

Use an Encyclopedia (Reference Book)

You should not cite these in your paper.  This is general background information to help you understand your topic and find different ways to search.

What to write down:

Any keywords: for example

  • genetic engineering:

  • gene transfer techniques

  • genetically modified animals

  • DNA repair


​Other topics related to genetic engineering

  • ethics

  • techniques


  • published books

  • published articles

  • names of authors


Finding Resources for your Paper

Finding Magazine articles

Before searching for scholarly / academic / peer reviewed articles, you should try to find a magazine article on your topic.  

These are written for a more general audience and can help you understand a topic better.  For this assignment you are allowed to cite one of these.  Be aware that other professors at university might not let you use this kind of information for your assignments.

In the magazine articles look for:

  • explanations of your concepts
  • keywords for other searches
  • any other author or study mentioned in the article - you can then search for those

Finding Books

Books can provide you with general overviews of your topic, as well as specific.  We have access to electronic as well as print books.

Many books are scholarly / academic, but not all.  We have access to children's books, novels, as well as books writen by non-scholars.  

In books you should look for:

  • general explanations of your topic
  • specific examples of your topic
  • more keywords
  • bibliography - citations of things on your topic

Finding Scholarly / academic / peer reviewed information

Most university professors want you to use this kind of information to write your papers.  These kind of articles are written for other experts and often have discipline specific vocabulary.  This might make them hard to understand.  

The peer reviewed articles you find this way will be what you mostly use in your assignment.  Make sure that they are scholarly articles and not editorials, viewpoints or book reviews.  

When you find a good article on your topic, look at its bibliography to help you find more sources o your topic.

Company Info

How to find company info:

Find general info about your company, including ticker symbol, industry classification, website.

Get an annual report:

  • do a google search for
    • 'your company name' annual report

This will give you their side of the story.  What do they say about themselves. 

Find more info about company and industry:

At the LexisNexis search screen, click on "Get Company Info" on the bottom right

Look for your company here by name or Ticker Symbol.

Click on Company Profiles on the top of the screen and search for company name or by ticker symbol.

You can also look for industry profiles and other news items.

Subject Guide

Rainer Schira's picture
Rainer Schira