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Business 113: Principles of Marketing

Your Librarian

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Nancy Bialek
Please call or email to schedule a research appointment
2065 Half Day Road
Deerfield, IL 60015

Your Librarian

Profile Photo
Nancy Bialek
Please call or email to schedule a research appointment
2065 Half Day Road
Deerfield, IL 60015

Your Librarian

Profile Photo
Nancy Bialek
Please call or email to schedule a research appointment
2065 Half Day Road
Deerfield, IL 60015


Your Assignment

Student in the online BUS 113 class must write a comprehensive summary of a current marketing article and discuss how the article illustrates ideas from Principles of Marketing. Articles should be from a business-trade publication and should be less than six months old. This guide will direct you to resources to find an appropriate article.

Rationale:  The objectives of the assignment are to help you develop your research and critical thinking skills, see how concepts we have studied manifest themselves in “real life,” and give you the opportunity to apply what you learned in the course.

Description:  Write a 10 to 15 page research paper wherein you describe the current marketing strategies and tactics of a national company or brand; using the contents of this course as the lens through which you examine their practices.  

Topic Choice:  Choose a nationally marketed good or service.  Here are some points to consider as you choose your topic. 

1) Keep your topic focused on a single product or company, so that you can comprehensively discuss their marketing efforts within the page limits of this assignment.  For example, to choose Ford would be too wide a topic.  Instead, select one vehicle within the Ford line. 

2) Choose a product or service that is large enough so that you can find articles written about it.  You probably will not be able to find enough information on small firms or products that do not much promotion.

3) You will probably want to choose a branded product because these have more comprehensive marketing efforts, which give you more to work with in your paper. 

4) Your product does not have to be a good.  You may want to choose an organization, such as a professional sports team or nonprofit organization, or a performer.  If you choose a performer, try to choose one who goes on tour so you will be able to discuss pricing and location strategies in your paper. 

5) Please do not choose guns, alcohol, cigarettes, anything that is illegal or in poor taste. 

Research Overview:

While you will probably want to review the company’s website, most of research should be from recent, objective, and editorially reviewed sources.  You must include at least five sources from newspapers or the business-trade press.  Examples include Marketing Week, Advertising Age, Media Week, Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune.  You may also want to consider publications specific to your industry, online investment sites, and online consumer review sites. When looking at websites, be sure to evaluate them for objectivity.  Much of what you can find on the web is biased and can even be untrue.  This includes information obtained from wiki’s, such as Wikipedia.  Wikis are not editorially reviewed and can be modified by anyone.

Paper Construction:

Section 1.  Introduction:  Tell the reader what product you have researched and what they will find when they read the paper.

Section 2.  Research Findings. This part of the paper, which will probably be the majority of it, should contain your research findings. As much as possible, identify how marketing principles and practices are used for the product you have identified.

While information on all of the topics listed below will not be available or may not relate to your product, here are some areas you may want to explore. 

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Research: What type of research do they do and how do they use it?
  • Macro Environmental Factors as they impact the company (don’t just copy a list from the book.  Discuss only those things that you think are relevant to your discussion).
  • Micro Environmental Factors including stakeholders, suppliers, retailers, and wholesalers.
  • Competitor Analysis:  Who are their main competitors and how do they compete?
  • Consumer Analysis:  Some things to think about as you look into this section:
    • What is their target market? 
    • How do they segment the market?
    • What are the consumers’ main buying motives? 
    • Why do consumers choose this product?
  • Marketing Objectives
  • Branding and Positioning
  • Product Management Strategy
    • Think about the BCG matrix and product life cycle as well as what you find in your research
  • Product:  Don’t forget information on core and augmented product
  • New Product Development
  • Pricing
  • Sales Force
  • Distribution Channel:  ex.  Wholesalers, Retailers, Transportation Modes/Firms
  • Advertising:  Messages and Media
  • Public Relations
  • Web Site (you’ll probably want to visit their site and make personal observations, but also include information on their digital strategy that you may find in your research.)
  • Social Media
  • Digital/Mobile Media
  • Consumer Promotion:  Such as coupons, sale prices, rebates.

As you write, identify all major topics discussed.  Use course vocabulary to identify course concepts as appropriate.  Please do not just “dump” buzzwords into your paper.  Think about how the different things you write develop your analysis.  If something is not relevant to your topic, simply skip it. 

In your text, differentiate between what you found directly from a research source verses what you conclude based on your analysis.  For example, while you may not be able to find explicit information on their target market, you will probably be able to determine this based on the other things your find in your research.

Section 3.  Course Application and Analysis. This section will probably be three or four pages long. As you write this section of the paper, think about what you found in your research and discuss how it illustrates or ties back to things we have covered in this class. 


Recommended Journals

Links to full-text articles from recommended journals. On the right side of the journal page, you can "search within this publication" for a topic or browse by date.

Search Business Source Elite

Business Source Elite provides access to reliable, full-text business journals. Limit your search to full-text. After you search, use the date limits on the left to focus on articles from the last 6 months.

Articles Search Help

Business database

Business Source Elite is the best place to search for business information

Accessing databases from off-campus

From off-campus, log-in to the databases using your TIU username and password. This is what you use to log into your Trinity email, myTIU, and Moodle. If you need help with your password, contact IT.

Requesting articles

If an article is not available full-text online, you can request it through WorldShare. The Interlibrary Loan department will either scan in the article from our print collection, or request it from another library. A PDF version of the article will be sent to your Trinity email. See instructions for requesting through WorldShare.

Writing Helps

APA Basics tutorial

Basics of APA citation

APA is the citation style used by students and writers in business. When writing your paper, use in-text citations with the author's last name, publication year and page number: (Miller, 2012, p. 83). At the end of your paper, include a Reference list with full citations.

Book example:
Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA guide to publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Article example:
Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Psychology, 55, 893-896.

Use the resources below to get more help with APA format and citing specific resources.

APA citation guides

The Thrive Center

The Thrive Center (formerly the USSC) helps  students with their academic and writing needs. You will need to schedule an appointment with a tutor. You can call the Thrive Center at (847) 317-8193 or email them at


Zotero is a free bibliographic management program that one can use with any of these three browsers: Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. It allows one to download references from Rolfing Search, I-Share, WorldCat, and most of our databases, including ATLA, Academic Search Premier, and PsycInfo. After downloading references, Zotero can be used with its corresponding Microsoft Word (or Open Office counterpart) plugin to create parenthetical references/footnotes and bibliographies in many different citation styles. See our page here for help with Zotero.

Distance Students

Overview of distance student services

The library provides access to thousands of online resources for distance students:

  • Search and read the full-text of ebooks.
  • Consult online reference books, including Bible dictionaries, commentaries, lexicons and atlases.
  • Search in over 60 different subject databases for journal articles on your topic.
  • Use online media, including audiobooks, streaming videos and music.

The library will also provide access to printed books and journals

  • You can request scans of journal article and sections of books from Trinity's library and libraries around the world. This means you can access nearly any journal article you need.
  • Use local theological libraries that participate in Atla reciprocal borrowing.
  • If you are unable to access a print book at a nearby library, the Rolfing library will mail you a book.


Accessing databases from off-campus

From off-campus, log-in to the databases using your TIU username and password. (This is what you use to log into your Trinity email, myTIU, and Moodle.)

If you are having trouble logging in, see the login help page.

Distance Access Tutorial