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Historical Ads Can Be Found Here



First, find out information about the company and the product. (You can probably find everything you need online.) Look for the company's own information about itself and the product. Also look for information that other, possibly more objective, sources are writing about the company and the product.

Next, gather information about the target audience. You may want to do formal research about the target audience and its values, attitudes, spending habits, etc. Or you may want to conduct surveys. If you like, you could conduct focus groups by gathering people who are part of the target audience and interviewing them about the product, the brand, the competition, and anything else that might be relevant to your ad campaign. Please record any interviews you conduct!

A third direction for research is the competition. Who is this company in competition with? What features do their product(s) have? How are their product(s) marketed? You'll want a clear sense of who you're competing with so you can craft an advertising strategy that will work.


1.  Go to the company website.  Look at the link for "About Us" and "News".  This will tell you how they view themselves or what image they wish to project about themselves.

2.  Go to Lexis/Nexis to get a company profile.

3.  Go to The International Directory of Company Histories to search the company and/or product.

3.  Go to Wikipedia to search the company and/or product.

5.   Do a search of Ebsco (MasUltra or Newspaper Source) or Proquest for newspapers and magazines for articles about the company and/or product.

4..  Do a web search to see what others have to say about the company and the product online and on social media.



How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes the citation, followed by a concise annotation. The annotation summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article.  Then include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.


Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

(This example uses the MLA format for the journal citation. NOTE: Standard MLA practice requires double spacing within citations.)

Permission Granted by Cornell University Library


Advertisement:   Name the product or company being advertised, followed by the word “Advertisement.” Give publication information for the source in which the advertisement appears.

          Arbella Insurance. Advertisement. NY Times, n.d. Web. 3 June 2009.

          Truth by Calvin Klein. Advertisement. Vogue Dec. 2000: 95-98. Print.


Personal interview:   To cite an interview that you conducted, begin with the name of the person interviewed. Then write “Personal interview” or “Telephone interview,” followed by the date of the interview.

          Akufo, Dautey. Personal interview. 11 Apr. 2009.


Web site with author: