MKT 791
Marketing Models

Guidelines for Literature Review


Students are required to write a state of the art review of the literature on a “new” topic. Sources of ideas for topics are the Marketing Science Institute’s current research priorities, recent working papers and conference presentations, as well as topics covered in this seminar.  You are encouraged to choose a topic from your areas of research interest. This topic should be new, not a topic for which you have written a paper in another course.

Preparation Process

The topic must be approved by the instructor. You are required to submit a Two-Page Memo to the instructor by February 1st (or earlier).  The memo provides a foundation to discuss your proposed topic with the instructor. You may be asked to revise the memo before proceeding further.

Instructions for the Two-Page Memo are included elsewhere in this packet. You must submit this description of your literature review topic for approval by February 1, 9am.  Please meet with the instructor to discuss it prior to submission (by January 29, 9am at latest), to be sure you are on the right track.  You should also meet with the instructor before February 5th to get feedback on the memo and approval to move forward on the literature review.


The purpose of the Literature Review is to develop your ability to critically evaluate research, to integrate your knowledge of different research issues, and to provide you with experience in carrying out a literature search related to a given research problem. (The Two-Page Memo should help you make a good start by precisely defining the research questions.)  Look ahead at the requirements of the Research Proposal.  You may wish to consider it as a “first draft” of your Research Proposal.


Although this assignment is called a literature review, you are asked to do more than simply summarize what is known on a topic.  The literature review should:

  • Identify a research domain
  • Critically review and integrate research findings
  • Outline directions for future research
  • Select a research question(s)
  • Develop a model to guide future research, and (if possible)[1]
  • Derive formal research propositions or hypotheses. 

[1] The model can be conceptual/theoretical, descriptive, normative, or a decision support model.

Your literature review is likely lead to your choice of topic for your Research Proposal.  (Sometimes the student may choose to switch topics or radically redefine his/her topic. Hence, you may wish to refer to “Guidelines for Research Proposal” as well.

The completed literature review must be no longer than twenty pages, typed and double-spaced, excluding references. It is due on February 29 at 9am.  Please send me an electronic copy, as well as leaving a hard copy in my mailbox.