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BUS 461: Marketing Research: Phase 2: Research Proposal & Literature Review

Phase 2 Objectives

Phase 2: Research Proposal & Literature Review Objectives:
Your group will be responsible for:

  • Developing a research proposal that includes the following:
    • Brief Introduction
    • Literature Review (including a minimum of 10 journal articles reviewed)
    • Definition of the purpose of your research and the research objectives
    • Refined research questions
    • Development of a data collection instrument

Literature Review Components

A literature review is NOT a summary of your readings, but rather an evaluation that allows you to explain how it applies to your research questions or supports your thesis statement. Steps in the literature review process include:

  1. Selecting a topic & Developing your argument
  2. Researching the literature
  3. Reviewing & Critiquing the literature
  4. Tracking your citations & quotes
  5. Writing your review

As you review the literature, ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do we know about the subject of our study and its historical context?
  • Are there trends being found as a result of our readings?
  • Are there gaps to be found in the literature?
  • Based on what we know, what conclusions can we draw about our research question?

Literature reviews generally include:

  • Methodology: The discussion of your search strategy and databases used when locating your sources
  • Observations of the research methods used within your found sources
  • Revelations found within your sources that speak to your research questions as well as opposing statements
  • Interpretations of research gaps in the literature that help to formulate questions that need further research
  • Reflection of conclusions drawn 

Literature Review Research Databases

General & Business-Specific Databases

EBSCO databases marked with an asterisk (*) can be searched at the same time. Open Academic Search Premier and locate the Choose Databases link found right above the search box. Place checks next to the databases starred here and click OK. 

News & Legal Databases

Evaluating the Literature to Draw Conclusions

When Reading Each of Your Sources:

  1. Skim the abstract to determine if it's truly relevant to your topic.
  2. If you find it is relevant, read the article for a general understanding.
  3. Read a second time to summarize and evaluate the source while taking notes using some of the prompts below.

Keep in mind you should include sources that challenge and/or contradict your research question. Doing so will allow you to explain why your approach is still justified.

When Summarizing Consider:

  • Purpose of the writing
  • Problem explained
  • Research questions included
  • Research methodology
  • Sample included
  • Key findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations

When Evaluating Consider:

  • Key theories, concepts, or ideas mentioned
  • Major debates, arguments, or issues mentioned
  • Methodology and whether it is appropriate for the research topic and if it was conducted properly
  • Evidence of claims or conclusions
  • Key questions and problems addressed 
  • Gaps or insufficiently addressed issues
  • Implications for your proposed research