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The Research Process

  1. Identify your topic
  2. Explore your topic
  3. Identify potential search terms and combinations of search terms
  4. Searching: Databases and Websites
  5. Cite your sources


Welcome to the BADM 383 Course Guide. The purpose of this guide is to help you complete the two research papers required for this course.

If at any point you have questions, feel free to contact me. 

Good luck!

Before You Get Started: Types of Information

To do these assignments thoroughly and well, it is important that you pull together several different types of information. Here is a quick overview of the types of information you should be looking for and rationale for each.

Primary Sources provide direct, firsthand accounts or information. They are the source material being analyzed and discussed.

For the purposes of the trade policy paper, the actual trade policy as written and presented by the US Government (the White House, the State Department, etc...) would be your primary source material. 

For the Brexit paper, looking at information on UK sites ( could be helpful to you.

Secondary Sources are created by people without direct, firsthand knowledge.  They are created to analyze, interpret, and/or discuss primary source information.  For the purpose of these assignments, all articles from peer-reviewed journals, newspapers, and magazines count as secondary sources, and the different types of articles you find play specific roles that when taken together, can help you fully explore your topics.

News articles report the facts of events, answering the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Their purpose is not to provide analysis or commentary, but to keep people apprised of current events and the context surrounding them.

Opinion/Editorial (Op/Ed) pieces are written to provide commentary and generally present specific perspectives, interpretations/analysis, and/or predictions, and they often present with some sort of bias.  These pieces are useful because they are generally written by people with knowledge or expertise with the purpose of helping the average citizen better understand the actual real-life implications of often very complicated issues or events.  Most people would not be able to look at the whole of US trade policy and be able to understand it, much less predict how it will impact the country and their lives.  Op/Eds attempt to help us do that by discussing things in terms of "if this happens, it could have this impact on these people and these things."  Because Op/Eds are, by definition, opinions and speculation, there can be a tendency to regard them as unreliable sources, but they can help you make sense of the primary source material, such as US trade policy, by showing you different perspectives and predicted outcomes while discussing it in language that is accessible to the average person.

Peer-reviewed articles will generally discuss the topic in a scholarly context, such as presenting original research or applying a theoretical lens for analysis.  

In summary, your primary sources are what you're analyzing or discussing.  News articles present information regarding the facts and context surrounding your primary source material (WWWWWH).  Op/Eds help you to understand the primary source material and its larger implications.  And peer-reviewed articles examine the primary sources in a scholarly context, often presenting evidence gathered through original research or by applying an established theoretical lens for the purposes of analysis and discussion. 

Each of these sources contributes something unique and necessary to the discussion, and ultimately, to your understanding of the topic.  This course guide will show you where and how to find this information.

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Brandy Horne
Office: (803) 641-3282
Liaison Areas: Communication, English, Sociology

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