Writing an Essay on a Business Topic
A Comprehensive Guide on How to Write a Standard 2:1 Essay for University
Regardless of whether your essay is about finance, management, marketing or some other aspect of business, the guidelines provided here should help you produce a compelling, insightful, and properly-structured written piece. When it comes to writing a business essay, some of the most critical considerations are a) that its content is relevant and b) that the arguments within it are properly supported with good examples and credible references. Other important aspects include how your paper is laid out and presented, and that the language in it is appropriate.
If you break up the writing of your essay into different stages, you will take some of the pain out of the process and ensure that you cover the topic from every possible angle.
Before Starting to Write
- You will need to analyze the question in the assignment
Pinpoint the exact title or question that the assignment requires you to look at. Look carefully at the wording to determine what approach is best. There are some keywords that keep reappearing in a lot of essay instructions such as “analyze,” “compare,” “criticize,” “describe,” “discuss,” “examine,” “explain,” “illustrate,” “interpret,” “review,” and so on. For instance, questions that ask you to “explain how the Internet can affect the marketing operations of a company” is likely to require you to present in a detailed manner all relevant points and their implications. If you are asked to “discuss” a particular topic, it is likely you will need to look at the main arguments relating to this topic and provide a number of reasons in favor of and in opposition to each individual one.
In the event you have to make up a question of your own for your essay, it is best to choose a subject you are interested in because this will ease the process and make the topic relatively enjoyable to write about.
- Writing the Actual Essay
Start by composing an initial draft based on your outline and using the same structure. Do your best to choose language that is precise and subject-related terminology that is positive and constructive. This should help you get your various points across clearly, but jargon should be strictly avoided. Below is a recommended format you can use to structure your written work in a logical manner. You do not have to include all these elements, just the ones that give your essay added value.
Look for relevant research to support the topic of your essay:
Thorough research is critical to writing a good-quality essay. Regardless of whether you look for suitable materials on the Internet or at a library, you should always select data from credible scholarly sources. For instance, sources like these include case studies and/or articles from a number of reputable journals including the Marketing Journal, books written by noteworthy scholars, and the opinions of other professionals or researchers who are experts in your subject matter. There are also a number of reputable websites such as Google Scholar and others where you can get plenty information on a wide variety of business subjects. If you are dealing with a Marketing topic, for example, you could widen your search at this point so that it includes any primary research you do yourself. Additionally, interviews and surveys are great sources for suitable content.
Once you have collected enough sources, you will need to read these and take notes as you go along. You should also organize all your notes into a structured outline so that everything is easier to track and find. While you are going along, do not forget to make a note with information about your various sources, e.g., author’s name, title of work, publication place, date of publication, page number(s), etc. This will help you when you have to acknowledge the sources you refer to in the course of writing your paper.
- Create an Outline or Plan for Your Essay
- Outline: Create a plan in an outline form, which will serve as the basis of your business essay and this will help you when you have to organize your key ideas and arguments. The outline will ensure you are able to present your ideas in a sequence that is logical while you are writing. Make a note of all the main points you intend to use in your introductory section, body, and concluding paragraph. This technique can generate more ideas as you go along, and it can help you better understand and analyze the data/information you collected.
- Introductory Section: Write an outline of your essay’s question, as you understand it and provide some comments on how you intend to answer it. Make sure you set out your essay’s objectives in a clear manner because these will determine the overall scope and indicate what exactly it is you are aiming to reach a conclusion on. It is also appropriate to include the definitions of any terminology that concerns your topic in this section to aid your readers understanding of what you are writing about.
- Historical or Background Information: Provide any relevant historical or background information that is relevant to your topic or on any organization you will be discussing i.e. in the event you are using any case studies.
- Results or Findings: Making reference to your collected sources, you should undertake an in-depth analysis of your topic. Make sure you examine the viewpoints of other authors in a critical manner in order to develop a logical debate and to touch upon the reasons in favour of or in opposition to your main argument. Look at all the approaches – whether they are similar or conflicting – and show you are able to think independently by offering your own personal opinion. You should present your different points and ideas in correct sequence and connect your paragraphs together so that all information flows in a seamless manner from one point or idea to the next. Do not forget to accurately reference every citation in line with the citation method prescribed by your professor or university, e.g., using the APA, Chicago, Harvard or MLA style or another method. If you take any phrases from another text, place these in quotation marks to show they are direct citations. In the event you use paraphrasing, include a reference to the original source at the end of the relevant sentence. How many references you use usually depends on the type and length of each assignment. However, around ten citations per 1,000 words of text is a good rule to follow.
- Concluding Paragraph: It is important you use logic and sound reasoning to arrive at your end-of-paper conclusion. Here, you need to pull everything together including the discussions from the body paragraphs. Say in explicit terms what your point of view is in terms of your final findings, making sure you fully address the question that was posed in the introductory paragraph. This last paragraph can also be used as a final opportunity to make recommendations about any actions or investigations you think may be needed in the future.
- Reference List or Bibliography: If, for instance, you are using the Harvard referencing system, include an alphabetic list of the references you used throughout your paper. In the event, you are using a footnotes system (e.g., end-of-page notes on each page where there is a reference), just add a bibliography at the end instead of a reference list.
- Appendix pages: The appendices section is comprised of any supporting materials, e.g., charts, graphs or text that you think is too bulky for your paper’s main body i.e. where this would interrupt the smooth flow of your writing.
- Proofread and Edit Your Final Essay
If possible, print your final paper in order to read back over it. Create a checklist so that you can underline any errors, e.g., in the grammar, style, strength of your argument, or there may be other areas you can improve. You might want to consider including the questions below in your checklist:
- Has the assignment’s question been comprehensively addressed?
- Have you presented all material in a clear and logical manner?
- How relevant and accurate is the content?
- Has every key point been fully supported with examples and arguments?
- Has every source you used been properly referenced?
- Have you spelt every word correctly and used punctuation appropriately?
- Have you used precise and clear language?
If there are any parts of your essay you are unhappy with, correct them. Look again at your spelling and punctuation to ensure these are correct. Keep on proofreading and editing your final paper until you are confident it cannot be improved any further. Now your essay is complete and ready to hand in!