ECO 202 George Mason University Apple Company Product and Industry Analysis Paper


Research Paper Instructions-Microeconomics Research Paper
Content (70%): Your Microeconomics Research Papers consist of two sections: Product/Service Analysis and an Industry Analysis.   
Introduction: What is your product or service?  If it is not an everyday good, explain to the reader what the product does or the purpose it serves.  Who uses your good?  What is its history?  What is the relevance of your good in a particular geographic market?  [for example, 31.1% of US wireless subscribers use Verizon Wireless; The approximately 9,900 nail salons in the United States accounted for $6.6 million in sales in 2011]
Product Analysis:  See Suggested Outline
Industry Analysis: See Suggested Outline
I attached these Outline below
Readability (15%)
Don’t let your great ideas get lost in sloppy writing. The Writing Consultants through the Academic Center are a valuable resource.  Use them!  They are a good source of advice and constructive evaluation. Readability requires thoughtful organization and a clear writing style.

Your paper should be organized in a logical manner where one idea flows into the next. Your reader should be able to anticipate where your paper is going. 
Strive for a clear well-organized presentation of your facts, theories, and analysis. The mainstay of economic writing is the simple declarative sentence. Avoid complex constructions, hard-to-follow run-on sentences, and the royal “we” (unless you are royalty or plural).
You should make an outline for your paper before you start writing. Each line in your outline should be a topic sentence for each paragraph of your paper. 
Read your paper out loud or, better yet, ask someone who is unfamiliar with it and your assignment to read it to you. You will hear awkward parts and areas where you need better transitions between topics.
No one is a perfect writer. We are all getting better and learning.  The point is to continue practicing and honing this skill.  It is one of the most important skills you can have.

Mechanics (15%)
There are three components to this category: formatting, grammar, and documentation. 
Formatting:  All papers should be typed double-spaced on 8 1/2? x 11? paper with 1? margins on all sides using Times New Roman, 12 point font.  Papers should include a Title Page, page numbers on each paper, and a separate References page.  Papers must be submitted electronically through Canvas.  No physical papers will be accepted.
The Title Page includes the paper’s title, the date, the course for which the paper is written, and the instructor’s name.  Give your paper a title that is relevant to your product or industry.  “Research Paper” is not an adequate title.
Grammar:  You need to proofread your research paper thoroughly before turning it in. I expect you to use proper sentence format, spelling, and paragraph structure.  Most word processing programs, like Microsoft Word, provide help with these elements.  Use them.  Also, take advantage of the college’s resources through the Academic Center including the Center’s online Blackboard Community for Writing help.  Students can self-enroll in the online community and post their questions and receive answers from peers and online tutors.
Documentation:  Giving proper credit to the works of others is essential in your writing – I need to be able to see your ideas, not your ability to copy someone else’s. 
Direct quotes: You must you quotes when you directly quote someone and attribute that quote to its author.  Quotes of more than 25 words should be set off in an indented paragraph instead of using quotes. 
Paraphrasing: if you use someone else’s ideas, you have to attribute the work to them even if you aren’t using their exact words.  Failing to give credit for paraphrased ideas is just as much plagiarism as stealing someone else’s words.  This applies to your own previous work.  For example, if the work you do in this class draws on work you’ve done in another class, you must cite to your prior work.  If you intend to use one paper to satisfy two classes’ requirements, you must get prior permission from both instructors. 
Your reader needs to be able to find your sources not only to validate your assertions but also to enable further reading. You should cite to your sources as precisely as possible.
Your papers should follow APA formatting.  The library has some great resources to help you learn this widely-used citation format. 
Examples for in-text citation:
Several writers have measured the costs of market power (Scherer, 1970, pp. 400-411).
Scherer (1970, pp. 400-411) reviews studies of the costs of market power.
The full bibliographic information on each source must appear in a References page at the end of your paper (separate last page). If Scherer published more than one reference in the same year, list them as “Scherer (1970a)” and “Scherer (1970b),” both in your text and in the References page.
Footnotes are to be used only, if at all, for substantive comments and not for reference. No endnotes please.
Examples of Reference page entries (note: use hanging indent):
Journal article:
Baumol, W. J. & Wolff, E. N. (1981). Subsidies to new energy sources: Do they add to energy stocks? Journal of Political Economy, 89(5), pp. 841-864.
Article in edited volume:
Cagan, P. (1956). The monetary dynamics of hyper-inflation. In Friedman, M. (ed.), (1956). Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, pp. 25-120.
Government publication:
U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1978). Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1978. (99th Edition). Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office.
Revision – You will get each portion of your Research paper returned to you with comments.  I highly recommend that you revise your paper in line with these comments before submitting the final version before the end of the term.

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SUGGESTED outline for Microeconomics (ECON 202) Industry Analysis
Very brief introduction to your product with focus on its market structure – highly
competitive, not very competitive? Lots of shifting in market share or staid, historic
companies dominate?
Number of firms in industry
a. How many firms are in the industry? Are they all about the same size and are they big
or small? Or are there a few big and lots of little ones? Include market share
information if available.
b. Who are these firms in the industry? What is the history of the firms in the industry (is
this a fluid industry where the most successful firms change position frequently or are
there firms that have been dominating for a long time?
Product differentiation
a. Compare your product/service to the product/service of the competitors. How is your
product differentiated, if it is?
b. If your product (or its bundle of aspects) is differentiated, how does your firm alert
customers to these differences?
c. Do firms in this industry continually try to innovate to differentiate their products? Do
you see evidence of firms innovating and copying each other’s innovations? Describe.
Barriers to entry
a. What are the barriers to entry in your market? Explain what they are and how they limit
entry OR describe the ease with which new entrants can join this industry.
b. The length of this section will depend greatly on the industry you pick. Some market
structures have no or limited barriers to entry while other industry’s barriers are
Market structure conclusion. Based on II, III, and IV above, what market structure is your
firm operating in?
Based on your conclusion in V above, what does that suggest about your firm’s:
a. Ability to control price – are they a price taker or a price searcher? What does that
mean about their demand curve? How are prices determined in your industry?
b. What does this market structure suggest about the interdependence of firms in the
market? Is advertising likely and why? Are the firms motivated to innovate their
products and why?
c. Long run profit prospects? Are long run economic profits possible in this market
structure? How can your firm avoid zero long run economic profits? If profits exist, will
there be entry into this industry and what would entry do to existing profits (explain
mechanism)? If entry is difficult, how do firms maintain or expand profits?
Conclusion for entire paper
a. Wrap up your Industry Analysis with a conclusion that works for the whole paper
(including the Product Analysis). A prediction about the stability of your industry and
your firm’s place in it is an example of a good paper conclusion.
Dr. Ashlie Warnick
Industry Analysis Outline
Title of paper
Page number
Running title in header
1 inch margins throughout
Times New Roman or Arial font, 12 point.
INCLUDE as separate final page of your paper
References in APA format. An APA guide is on Bb in the Research Paper tab. Points are awarded
for effort to comply with the rules.
Dr. Ashlie Warnick
Industry Analysis Outline
SUGGESTED outline for Microeconomics (ECON 202) Product Analysis
Introduction. Introduce reader to your topic. What is it? Who uses it? Any information
about sales or history of product? Your reader is an intelligent person who may not have
any familiarity with your product.
Demand – what shifts demand for your product?
a. Income – how does an increase in income shift D for your product? Normal or inferior?
[Incomes are rising slowly in the US, so what do you expect to happen to Demand for
your product because of this?]
b. Population/demographics – is this product being introduced to other populations? Is
this product used by a particular age group and is that group expanding or contracting?
What do the answers to these questions suggest about how demand for your product
will change?
c. Prices of related goods
i. Complements – what are the complements to your product? If the price of a
complement rose, how would that affect Demand for your product? Have there
been recent price changes for complements?
ii. Substitutes – what are the substitutes for your product? If the price of a
substitute rose, how would that affect demand for your product? Have there
been recent price changes for substitutes?
d. Consumer tastes and preferences. Is this a fad product? Is demand increasing or
decreasing? Has advertising been used to try to increase demand for your product?
Celebrity endorsements? Any bad press for your product that has reduced demand?
Supply – what shifts the supply of your product?
a. Price of inputs – what are the inputs into your product? How does an increase in the
price of inputs affect supply of your product? Labor costs, material costs, etc. This may
include information about where your product is made; changes in labor standards
around the world if your product is made in low-wage countries. Changes in the
availability of labor to produce your product (highly skilled expensive and/or unique
labor vs. low skilled cheap labor).
b. Technology – have there been technological advancements in the manufacture or
delivery of your product? How does that affect the supply curve? [Note: this is not
about the technology of the product itself which could change demand]
c. Prices of substitutes in production, if applicable. If your product has a substitute in
production, how will an increase in the price of that substitute product affect the supply
of your product? Have there been changes in the price of substitutes in production?
d. Weather, if applicable. If your product’s supply depends on weather, explain how
weather impacts supply. Examples of adverse or positive past weather events and their
impact on your product would be helpful here.
Price elasticity of demand
a. Does your product have available substitutes? What does the availability or lack thereof
tell you about your product’s price elasticity of demand?
Dr. Ashlie Warnick
Product Analysis Outline
b. Is your product a luxury or a necessity? What does the answer to that question tell you
about your product’s price elasticity of demand?
a. Given what you found in Parts II and III, what do you think will happen to your product’s
S and D in the near future? Give a reason for any curve you think will shift. If your
prediction about the movements of S and D come true, how will equilibrium P and Q be
INCLUDE the following on the first page of your paper:
Title of paper
Page number
Running title in header
1 inch margins throughout
Times New Roman or Arial font, 12 point.
INCLUDE as separate final page of your paper
References in APA format. An APA guide is on Bb in the Research Paper tab. Points are awarded
for effort to comply with the rules.
Dr. Ashlie Warnick
Product Analysis Outline
Microeconomics – Industry Analysis – Rubric
Content = 70 points
Describe product or service within industry; understanding
of paper context – 5
Topic focus – questions answered fully using course vocab;
high level analysis and synthesis of topics – 5
Product – explained whether this product is identical,
similar or unique from its competitor’s products.
Compare products. – 12
# Firms – detailed the number of firms in this market and
the relevance of the number of firms to market structure. 12
Barriers – explained what barriers to entry and exit exist in
this market and the relevance of barriers to market
structure – 12
Analysis – applied answers to Product Differentiation, # of
firms, and Barriers to arrive at CORRECT market structure
for this industry. – 15
Conclusion about firm’s pricing power, whether there will
be entry into this market, and long run profit prospects – 9
Readability – 15 percent
organization; clear and concise writing style; transitions
between ideas
Mechanics – 15 percent
formatting requirements (such as page #s, name, spacing,
justification, etc) and APA reference page and in-text

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Explanation & Answer:
7 Pages


Apple Company

Product and Industry Analysis

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