How to write a business essay
In order to be successful, writing a university level business essay involves careful planning, comprehensive research, analysis, outlining, clear and concise writing, proper formatting, editing, proofreading and the wisdom to know when you are finished. Essays are a major part of university life that usually creates unnecessary fears in most students. However, by following this simple guide, the process can be a relatively painless one.
Plan Your Business Essay Carefully.
The first step in your business essay is to review your assignment to ensure you are following all established criteria for your essay, for example, was a topic given or left up to your choice? If a topic was given, you can begin your research. If a topic was left up to your choice, it is up to you to choose a relevant topic that you find exciting. If you choose a topic of interest to you, you will have a much easier time writing your essay and you are more likely to enjoy the experience.
Another part of your planning phase is to establish a time-line for your work, allowing adequate time between your research and analysis phases before writing, and between your writing and editing phases in order to allow yourself to properly digest the research you’ve gathered. This will also prevent you from writing your entire essay the night before the paper is due.
Research today is easier than ever with the advent of the internet. Most university libraries have their catalogues online. Additionally, many e-books and journal articles are available online. Academic research sites, such as http://scholar.google.com or www.allbusiness.com also provide a plethora of valuable, valid and reliable information for the business essay. The goal is to use credible reference material written by scholars, researchers or noted professionals on the subject matter. The number of sources referenced depends on the length of your essay; longer essays require more reference material as you will be required to write more detailed essays. Websites such as www.wikipedia.com are not considered appropriate sources for university level writing.
Any use of material that is not considered common knowledge must have a credible source and be referenced. “The sky appears blue on a sunny day” is common knowledge. “The sky appears blue on a sunny day due to a unique combination of light waves and gaseous material that surrounds the earth” must be properly cited. Citations for referenced material are commonly located in two places depending on the format, next to the material referenced and in the reference or bibliography section of the essay.
The analysis phase is when you will begin digesting the material you have referenced, assessing its appropriateness to your subject matter and/or thesis statement. The analysis stage is also when you will figure out how to organise all the material gathered.
Outlining Your Business Essay
Outlining is often skipped as individuals are tempted to start writing the essay feeling motivated immediately after analysing their research only to get stuck along the way. An outline becomes the roadmap you can follow for preparing your essay. It represents the logical flow of thoughts and ideas you wish to state. Reviewing the outline prior to writing assures you are covering all the points you wish to address in your essay.
There are two steps for the outline process. Your first outline should be created using no more than three to four word topical concepts. Once your initial outline is created, adding more specifics, such as reference material to be used in which section or adding more detailed levels to higher level topics will help flush out your essay prior to writing.
Clear and concise writing
Key to your business essay is the use of appropriate language. While using terminology specific to the subject matter is appropriate, the use of jargon is not. Similarly, the overuse of acronyms is inappropriate. When using acronyms one must always spell out the entire phrase the first time an acronym is used directly followed by the acronym in parenthesis. For example, “One of the major banking and financial services associations in the world is the British Bankers Association (BBA)…”
Most universities and/or specific professors will require essays be written in a specific format that dictates anything from reference and citation format to page margins and font type. The most common formats are APA, Harvard, MLA and Vancouver. Reference guides for these and other formats are readily available online.
Editing and Proofreading Your Business Essay
Once you have written your essay one of the final stages is editing your work. There are two types of editing: context and content. Context editing is a review of your work to assure there are no syntactical errors such as improper or mixed word tense. Content editing is a review of your work to assure all facts are properly stated and appropriately cited/referenced.
Proofreading is the act of making sure your formatting is consistent with the format requirement of the essay as assigned. Proofreading is also when spell-checks are conducted and that punctuation is reviewed for appropriateness.
During the proofreading stage, you may find lengthy or “run on” sentences that can be split into two or more. This is where editing and proofreading merge in the final readiness stage.
When to call it quits!
Knowing when to consider an essay finished is more than just writing the words “The End.” There are several schools of thought on when an essay is complete, the key to both being value added by your writing actions. One school of thought suggests when there is no new information that can be added which enhances the value of what has been written the essay is deemed complete. Another view suggests that after careful editing and proofreading, when all you are doing is changing one or two words each time you re-read your essay which do not add value, you have officially completed the essay.
More detailed information on specific formatting, referencing, journal article analysis, research activities and examples of business essays can be found online.