HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS ESSAY Introduction Business Essays cover a variety of subjects. You could be asked to provide Essays on areas as diverse as finance, marketing, corporate ethics, leadership, human resources, production, product development and a wide range of other topics. Essays also take many forms. Your tutor, examiner, university entrance assessor, boss or whoever sets the Brief (the Client) could ask you to illustrate, discuss, analyse, critique, interpret, review, or explain the subject matter. The Client will be using the Essay to assess and evaluate your business knowledge and understanding. How effectively you assimilate the Brief, research the issues and ultimately provide an Essay of insight and originality will reflect on this judgement. This guide covers the steps for preparing a Business Essay for your Client. It is a general framework and may not cover every element for a specific piece of work. Some steps could be more important than others dependant on your interpretation of the Brief and the Clients requirements. Plan and Prepare This is the most critical step in the process. A clear understanding of the subject matter, the key elements of the Brief and the Clients requirements is essential for preparing a final product worthy of your expertise. These first steps should be revisited regularly throughout the preparation of the Essay. Understand the Brief
- Identify what the Client is looking for. Try and get into the Clients mind to understand the critical issues. If you are unsure about any part of the Brief, ask for guidance.
- Clearly define the required outcomes. A short statement of objectives will help you concentrate on the main issues.
- Define the key elements and essential points the Essay will cover.
- Review any course notes or projects the Client has identified as relevant for this assignment.
Plan an outline for the Essay structure with bullet point notes
- Think about the Introduction carefully. Note what should be covered.
- Outline the body of the report with sections for each major issue.
- Decide which topics and arguments require further research.
- Note the key points to be covered in the Summary/Observations with the focus on outcomes and objectives.
- Decide if any Conclusions are required.
- Develop timelines for each stage to achieve the submission deadline.
Conduct the research
- Plan the research carefully. Read around the subject; develop the arguments and list the issues and facts to be included.
- Define those facts which are common knowledge and decide on the ideas or opinions that need to be appropriately referenced.
- Search for relevant, credible sources from professionals, scholars and academics. Don’t use popular websites or unattributed articles.
- Look for research or reports of current corporate issues for topicality and relevance. Use live interviews where possible.
- Use current material with the latest editions and revisions. A Brief with an historical context will require references from the relevant period.
- Clearly and correctly quote and attribute views and ideas that are not your own. Don’t plagiarise
- Organise, collate and note your sources for future reference and bibliography.
Marshal and Analyse the Facts and Arguments Now is the time to develop the Essay in detail. Revisit and revise the sections in the original outline. Develop the topics for the body of the Essay and write the detailed draft, section by section. Develop the structure and main body of the Essay
- Decide the important arguments and opinions for inclusion in the body of the Essay.
- Identify any relevant examples from your own personal business experience for inclusion if pertinent.
- Prepare sections and paragraphs with a logical flow.
- Develop appropriate transitions from paragraph to paragraph and section to section.
Write the detailed content in draft
- Strive for originality in approach and content.
- Marshall the facts to develop structured, logical, cogent observations and arguments.
- Make objective assessments based on verifiable, factual information.
- Include the use of diagrams, tables and graphics if it helps interpretation and understanding.
- Use short, simple sentences for clarity of expression.
- Acronyms should be in brackets initially, e.g. European Central Bank (ECB).
- Develop the Summary, Observations and/or Conclusion.
- Write the Introduction covering the required outcomes, critical issues addressed, key facts and arguments with a short summary of the observations and/or conclusions.
- Exclude subjectivity, hubris or emotive language.
- Avoid buzz-words and overly technical language.
Revise, Edit and Submit If time allows take a break before this step of the process. Revision requires concentration and a fresh mind. You will want to ensure facts, content and sources are logically presented and referenced. This is also the stage where grammar and style are checked for accuracy and consistency and the layout and appearance of the Essay is determined. Finalise and submit your Essay and look for feedback from the Client to help you improve. Check for logical flow and accuracy of content
- Check for clarity, originality and transitional flow of sections and paragraphs.
- Reread the Introduction and Summary/Observations/Conclusions to ensure logic is maintained.
- Make sure the outcomes are clear and concisely stated.
- Rewrite and revise paragraphs and sections as required.
- Check the correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Check for syntax errors such as mixed tenses, passive voice, etc.
Layout and style
- Check the format meets the Client’s instructions or customary style.
- Finalise title page, contents page and section or chapter headings.
- Format references and bibliography using the prescribed style, Harvard, Oxford APA etc
- Finalise layout and presentation with wide margins for reader’s notes and comments.
Final proof reading
- Review the Essay with the Client’s eyes and revise as necessary.
- Ask for constructive comments from knowledgeable friends or colleagues.
Finalise and submit
- Change from draft to final form.
- Submit the Essay as instructed.
- Seek out constructive comments/criticism from Client.
- Compare your Essay with any models provided.
- Identify areas for improvement and note for future reference.
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