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Business Ethics: Find Background Information (Optional)

Resources for Dr. Dwyer's Business Ethics class taught during the 2015 Summer Semester.

Background Information

What is background information?

Background information can provide you with an initial understanding of your topic.

Why should I find background information?

Background information can:

  • Give you a brief, factual overview of your topic.
  • Provide you with important dates, events, and people associated with your topic.
  • Provide you with terminology and definitions of terms related to you topic.
  • Give you ideas for search terms that you can use when using the library's search tools. For example, from the BP oil spill article in Wikipedia, you can learn that the spill is sometimes called the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and that it occurred in the Macondo region of the Gulf of Mexico. You can then use these terms when using the library's search tools to find books and articles.

Need Background Information on Your Case Study Topic or Issue?

There are several places to find general background information on your topic:

1. Your textbook(s) and class notes.

2. The Web: Search the web for information and news stories from reputable websites, such as government websites, the New York Times, CNN, ABC news, corporate watchdog groups, etc.

3. Wikipedia: Though many professors will encourage you not to use it, Wikipedia can be a surprisingly good source of information to learn the who, what, where, and when of contemporary topics. In addition, there are often several useful resources listed in the bibliographies at the end of the articles that can help you learn additional information. That said, because Wikipedia pages can be edited by anyone (your mom, your little brother, your nosy neighbor down the street), there’s a risk that the information isn't reliable. Feel free to use it, but make sure you use it wisely. Examples of business ethics issues discussed in Wikipedia include:

Need an Explanation of an Ethical Theory?

1. Consult your textbook(s) and class notes.

2. Consult the following encyclopedia sources. This information can supplement the information you learn in class and your textbook(s).