Researching APA Style
The goal of this assignment is to help you research and practise the APA (American Psychology Association) style of writing, citing, formatting and referencing. It is a style of writing of research papers in the social sciences. The grading is based on how well you can master APA style in writing a research proposal, not on the content of the proposal itself. However, your Open Learning Faculty Member must approve this proposal before you can submit any future assignments. The proposal approval is based on your understanding in drafting a good marketing research problem statement.
Part A: Research APA Style You are required to research publications on how to prepare an APA paper. Find creditable sources for your information. For example, the reference format for APA Style is described in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association at apastyle.org. You can also find APA Citation Style under the APA Citation Style link at A1-2 Assignment 1 TRU Open Learning TRU Library at http://libguides.tru.ca/apa. Some students find watching a few YouTube videos helpful. Be cautious when choosing which to watch and believe. That will sharpen your research skills.
APA Style is more than citing and referencing your sources properly. It also includes specific requirements in formatting a paper and using punctuation. You are required to use this style in writing all assignments.
Learning APA takes time, and this assignment is the first step in beginning this process (if you haven’t done so in a previous course). Be sure to give full and complete references for all of your research while writing your research proposal.
To ensure that you have enough users and sellers for you to conduct your research, choose a consumer-branded product that is purchased frequently. If you are stuck for an idea, visit the trendwatching.com at http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/ to see what trends might make certain product categories more interesting. Think along the line of your personal hobbies, but not your current or previous employment. Be aware that all research projects must uphold research ethical standards written in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
This is NOT a good idea to use your employer’s product/service because it can potentially violate the Privacy Act of Canada and involve situations with power dynamics. Remember, most data collected by your employer are for conducting business; not to be used for any research project (unless consent has been obtained from their customers). Imagine if you are a branch manager of a bank who ask your subordinates to fill out your survey, do they really have freedom to reject your request? This is the power dynamics that may arise (i.e. violate the tri-council policy).
Choosing a Product for your Research
Consider some practical issues when making your choice:
1.Is there substantial secondary research available on this product? Take some time to do an Internet search for resources such as trade magazines, industry associations, Statistics Canada, and competitor websites. Do not use a company that does not have publicly available information or is not currently operating.
2.Can you reach enough customers of this product to get some good customer information (i.e. to meet the sample size requirements)? Perhaps you or a friend or MKTG 3481: Marketing Research A1-3 TRU Open Learning relative have a network of people that use this product. You may find an expert in the field willing to let you approach their customers, but do not count on this—make arrangements now if this is what you are hoping to do. Do not consider your current employment resources (internal information or client lists, etc.) without permission from supervisors/owners and/or consents from the company’s clients. It can become junk mail or spam.
Prepare to send your Open Learning Faculty Member a 500-word research proposal, written in APA style. Include the following seven (7) parts in the proposal. Ensure that you use the following headings to help readers navigate your paper.
1. Introduction: Write a brief paragraph to tell the reader what this paper is about and what you are trying to achieve.
2. Product overview: This is the name-brand product (not just a product category) that you will be using for your assignments. Include a brief description of what the product is and why you have chosen it. Include a link to the product website, if available.
3. Problem definition: Think about the major issues the manager is facing. Is it a new product that needs to increase awareness or secure wider distribution? Is it a mature product that is facing fierce price competition or “me-too” products? Write one or two management decision questions that your assignments will address.
Use the perceptual map to develop a marketing research problem statement that reflects what information is needed for the management decision problem. You
need to clearly demonstrate what the relationships are between the management decision problem and the marketing research problem. What kind of question is research-able? This is an important starting point because the other assignments build upon your marketing research problem statement. If you like, you can also include the specific research components, the sub-questions that this research will address. You must include one (1) marketing research question. This question will guide the entire project in data collection.