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Human Relations 1311 - LSC Kingwood

1890's office with secretary and her boss
Assignment Guide for HRPO 1311
The best library assignments are those that use a variety of resources including books, newspaper and journal articles, as well as Internet sites. We encourage you to use all of these sources for this paper. Books provide some of the best information for business topics. We hope you will take full advantage of the many resources our libraries offer.

Librarian Talk About Getting Started!

In choosing a company, you will find more information if you choose public companies that appear on the major stock exchanges.  Those companies will be well covered in books, databases and also on the Internet.  Subjects covered in these sources are:  company histories and profiles, business planning, economists, marketing strategies, key competitors, economic indicators, financial information, regional businesses, types of products, SIC and NAICS codes, industry, jobs and careers, and human resources information.

More about Choosing Keywords (30 sec.)


Select a company to research. Ask for approval from your instructor. No two groups can use the same company.

Our job is to research these companies on how they handle employees. We will be looking for openness, fairness, camaraderie among employees (friendliness), job security, opportunities for advancement, and sensitivity to work/family issues. Are these companies concerned with the total person? Why is this important? This exercise should give you an opportunity to review companies with a critical and upper level thinking process; it affords you questions to ask of companies who may wish to hire you. Choose 3 possibilities- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice. Instructor will advise best companies for you to research.
Fortune 500 “Top 100 Companies in U.S."  

Below is a list of the top five companies as of January, 2009.
Fortune magazine online has a complete list of the top 100 companies this year.




Job growth %

U.S. employees







Edward Jones



3 Boston Consulting Group  







Wegmans Food Markets





The research paper will be developing a profile (outline) of the company throughout the semester. Sources for information: Fortune 500, Hoover's Online, Business Week, Forbes, Working Mother, Great Places to Work Institute, business publications, industry trade magazines, and LSC-Kingwood Library databases along with other sites.

The paper includes six (6) sections: cover sheet, company summary, company rating, articles about company of choice, student opinion, and MLA Works Cited (list of all sources cited in the paper).

A. Cover Sheet : title of paper, company name, student name, course name and number, date. (5 points)

  • Content - Record where resources can be located using MLA standards. Content may be creative in set up but no plagiarism, meaning no “cut and paste” from Internet. Plagiarism also means taking a paragraph from a reading and using it as your own. If you choose to use a sentence or paragraph, use quotation marks or indent the passage. If Plagiarism is suspected, student will receive a zero (0) on paper and fail the course. Please do not copy articles.

B. Company Summary - Short summary of your selected company – What does the company produce or service? How large are they? What is the mission? Where are the headquarters? Do they have branches? Where are they? What types of benefits are available for employees? (10 points)

C. Company Rating  – (10 points – 2 points per topic)

Company’s consideration of employee: Is your company…..?

a. Open, fair, concerned with the total person?

b. Encourage camaraderie among employees?

c. Is there job security?

d. Opportunities for advancement?

e. Is the company sensitive to work/family issues?

D. Articles - Find at least one article on each listed topic below. This article has to be about your company and the stated topic. Critique and discuss each topic and how your company handles each situation. Discussions may be half page or up to one typed page per topic. Document findings. (Make this task on-going during the semester ------NOT the last week of semester.) It is preferable to find articles originating outside the company. Internal sites may be biased. (50 points – 5 points per topic)

a. Build employee self-esteem? (How does your company build employee self-esteem, or do they?) (Text: Chapter 4 offers other key words)

b. How does your company embrace ethical issues?

c. How does your company improve employees’ attitudes?

d. Does your company value work force diversity? Address multi-cultural issues?

e. How does your company motivate employees?

f. What is the professional presence at your company? (dress code?)

g. Does your company encourage leadership? (empower employees?)

h. Does your company offer opportunities for employees to improve conflict resolution skills?

i.  How does your company help employees with personal and work related stress?

j.  What is the role of men and women (gender biased, harassment) at your company?

E. Student Opinion - Your final opinion of your company. Would it be a choice for you to work at this company? What type of individual would be best for your company? Any other information you wish to impart. (15 points)

F. Works Cited – MLA Standards (10 points)

 Librarian Talk About Books!
  • Apply online for a library card.   Use your card to 1) Place a Hold on a book  2) Access databases from home. 
  • The catalog is online at http://library.lonestar.edu/hip/kin.htm 
  • Electronic books or eBooks are available in the  Ebook Collection. You will need your library card barcode number to view books from off-campus. Create a Free Account with EBSCO's Ebook Collection to save favorite book titles and notes.
More about finding books (31 sec.)

Here is a small sampling of books in Lone Star College-Kingwood Library and which your library may have. These and other very good sources of information can be found by searching the library catalog using keywords such as the company name, industry name, career title, business ratios, and mission statements.

  • REF HC101 .A131222 Business Statistics of the United States
    U.S. economy with industry profiles with history. Discusses effects of World Trade Center tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001.
  • REF HD30.285 .H37 Corporate Statements : The Official Missions, Goals, Principles and Philosophies of over 900 Companies 
    Hard-to-find mission and vision statements.


Librarian Talk About Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles! 

Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. Use them to find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more. Home access to article databases is available with your library card barcode. If you need assistance finding an article contact the Reference Librarians and they will help you get the article. They will need full bibliographic information and your contact information (including your phone number).

More about searching databases (25 sec.)

The following databases contain information on industries and companies.

  • Business Source Complete  - Provides full text for over 2,500 scholarly business journals covering management, economics, finance, accounting, international business and much more. Includes Worklife Report, Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, and more. Updated daily.
  • Regional Business News - Daily international newswires and regional business publications.  Search broadly by entering terms like Industries and good and working environment, or more specifically for an industry by name - airline, transportation, hospitality, health care, etc.  


Librarian Talk About the Internet!

The Internet will be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites.
Look at: 

Accuracy - The information should show proof it has been researched.
Source - Look at the domain.  .edu   .gov   .org  .net are valid research sources. 
Authority - What are the author's credentials? (Don't quote from another college freshman's paper.) 
Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research? 
Objectivity - If a work is biased, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. Offer both sides of issues, where applicable.

More about finding internet sources (25 sec.)

These Internet sites offer all types of information.  Many companies have home pages on the Internet. Keep in mind the objectivity level of these sites; they want to present very good images of their own company.

  • Hoover's Online - Retrieve information about companies and subsidiaries. Links to competitors and industry information.  To get stock quotes: From the opening screen, click the Money button and enter a company's ticker symbol. Charts give users historical data as well as current data.
  • Fortune 500  - Listing of the major companies in the United States and worldwide.  This site can be searched by rank, company name, CEO or industry.  Choose Company Profiles for: revenues, earnings, employees, current and historical stock prices.  A login is required.  Please ask the librarians for the number.
  • EDGAR - (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval) The EDGAR database of corporate information is the Securities and Exchange Commission site for accessing reports and other filings which are required by the government. See the EDGAR tutorial for help using this site.
  • CNNmoney - Sponsored by Money Magazine CNN's financial network includes hot stories and news gathered by the producers of the CNN network.  Updated throughout the day.  Look at the Economic calendar for information on current trends, economic indicators and more.  Lots of information is available here.  There is a very good glossary of financial terms linked at the bottom of the page.
  • Value Line - not everything on this site is open free, but you can get some information on markets, and stocks, companies and summaries of current business news.


Librarian Talk About Help!

Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources.  Putting it all together takes time and effort.  Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. 

More about getting help (25 sec.)
  • MLA Style Guide | Citing sources using the LSC-Kingwood Library style guide.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism   |   Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
  • Learning Center  | Hours for in-house tutoring.

Page created by Becky Bradley. Aug. 2003.  Updated 8/11, KMB.