Assignment 2: Secondary Research

In this assignment, you will carry out secondary research. Ideally, you will complete this research part of the assignment at the end of Topic 3 in Module 2.

Assignment Component


% of Final Grade









Implications and conclusion





*To obtain full marks for each component, your work must satisfy the grading criteria at the end of the Assignment 2 instructions.


This assignment is your opportunity to begin researching your research problem. You will start with secondary research because it is typically the cheapest and easiest way to learn about your product and the marketing research problem. This will also help you to refine your research problem and gain insights in choosing elements in the research process.


Review the materials from topics 1 to 3 in Module 2, the work you did in Activities 1 to 5 of Module 2, and your completed assignment plan and feedback from your Open Learning Faculty Member. If you have not received approval for your research proposal back with comments from your Open Learning Faculty Member, do not proceed with Assignment 2 yet, as you may be missing crucial feedback.


In a report of approximately 1,500–1,750 words, describe what you have done in finding secondary research data in solving your research problem. Lay out your information logically.

Research reports usually include the following headings:

  1. The introduction: Here, you briefly connect the why, what, and how of the study on which you based Assignment 1. State what you are trying to deliver (to show the reader) based on the data (your findings).
  2. The methods: This is where you show the reader how and where your data is obtained. What are your criteria in choosing the data?
  3. The findings: After clearly stating how the data is obtained, you present your data (your findings). Focus on the information that is relevant to your research problem even after a search that included twenty or more sources. You should find at least eight to ten relevant and creditable sources of information to reference in your assignment. Include only your most relevant sources and every source that you choose should have a purpose.You may choose to include information about the following:
    • Customers
    • Competitors
    • Supply chain (suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, etc.)
    • General industry information
    • Relevant economic information
    • Other
  4. The analysis: After you’ve shown your findings, logically argue why those findings could help understanding the research problem. What are your assumptions and interpretations to the findings? Why they are important for you to understand your research problem? How you include this section depends on your writing style—you can combine this section with the findings section, and use the heading Findings and Analysis. Your report should go beyond a simple summary of observations and facts. You must debate or argue why the data is useful. Listing the sources without good justification will only earn you 10 marks (see the above table above).
  5. Implications and conclusion: This final section illustrates the research implications for your marketing problem and your research design. Be very clear about how your research has enabled you to improve the following:
    • Your description of the marketing research problem: Use the information you have gathered to either confirm or modify the marketing research problem that you made in your initial research proposal. Did the new data provide new thoughts on your research problem?
    • Your research design: Have you learned something that will enable you to be more specific with your research questions, your hypotheses, your choice of participants and respondents, and so on? Did the data help you to write some of your questions for your focus group?
    • Your answer to the problem: Your research may uncover information directly relevant to your marketing research problem. If it does, how you are going to refine your research problem differently (i.e., to research something that is not yet known) If it does not, then reaffirm the importance of your current research problem and state how you are going to dig into the issues further in your next assignment (focus group research).

    Presentation Standards: Guidelines for Writing

    • Paragraphs are unified, developed, and coherent, with transitions between ideas.
    • Sentences are grammatically correct; words are chosen for accuracy and impact.
    • Writing follows the conventions of spelling and mechanics (punctuation, etc.).
    • Documentation follows APA style accurately and consistently.
    • Assignment is submitted in double-line spacing and uses 12-point Times New Roman font.
    • Templates provided by MS Word are not used.
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