Writing A Good Business Essay
Business writing aims to inform or persuade in clear and readable language. Thinking about your purpose and audience before you create an outline will enable you to focus on the most relevant areas of your topic and more clearly demonstrate your main point. Although writing a good essay takes time and thought, effective business writing is an invaluable tool for communication.
1. Determine your purpose in writing your essay. Are you trying to persuade your reader, inform them of a new product or development or make an argument for a certain idea?
2. Consider the audience of your essay and how that will affect its tone and structure. Tailor your essay to fit your audience's requirements. Why will they be reading your essay? What should they do after they read your essay?
3. Outline your main points, including the main question or argument, its supporting evidence, any counterarguments or counterpoints and your conclusion. Use concrete evidence whenever possible, and always cite any references.
4. Write a rough draft of your essay using your outline for guidance. Try to explain each point clearly but concisely. State your main point in the first paragraph and make your conclusion clear in your final section.
5. Consider the structure of your draft. Does your argument flow logically? Consider changing some block text to bullet points to increase readability. Use specific and informative section titles and subtitles to make your essay easier to read.
6. Examine the tone and sentence structure of your draft and make any necessary changes. Although your tone should always be polite, professional and sincere, it may also be enthusiastic, persuasive or confident, depending on your purpose and audience.
7. Proofread your essay for grammar and spelling. If possible, have a co-worker or friend read through the essay.
- Word processor or paper and pencil
About the Author
Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Suggest an Article Correction
Characteristics of Good Academic Writing
- Honesty: Only write that which can be supported.
- Clarity: Be clear/No waffle.
- Reality: Explain what needs to be explained.
- Relevance: Stick to the point.
The Essay Question
The first thing to consider when you approach an essay is the question. Take your time, and make sure that you fully understand what you are being asked. Writing everything you know about a topic, and not answering the question will not give you a good mark. An essay question can have up to four parts:Topic, Focus, Precept and Limit.
When you first approach a question, it is important to take the time to analyse what you are being asked to do:
Identify the Topic (In general terms, what the question is about)
Identify the Focus (Which part of the topic are you being asked to talk about?)
If the Topic has a Limit or Specific Viewpoint, identify it. Does this fit in with your position?
Locate the Precept (the command word, which often comes at the beginning) and make sure you understand what it means and what it requires you to do.
Some Common Precepts:
Descriptive Analytical Discursive
Describe Compare Criticise
Summarise Contrast Evaluate
How Analyse Discuss
Discuss (precept) the impact of the IMF (focus) on the economic policy (topic) of Argentina (limitation).
Broadly speaking, essays have three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. These roughly correspond to saying what you are going to say, saying that, and saying that you have said it. The three sections of an essay should normally contain the following information:
- Background information to the study.
- Explain how you have interpreted the question.
- State the thesis of what you are going to explore.
- Brief outline of how you will deal with each issue.
- Define any subject specific or problematic (eg: ambiguous) terms.
- Clearly stated arguments: Make your point at the beginning of a paragraph and then support that point in the rest of the paragraph.
- Unity: In any paragraph, only write support that is relevant to the argument you made at the beginning of that paragraph.
- Logical order: Make sure that your arguments follow the structure that is appropriate to the question you are answering. Start with the most important argument first and work your way down.
- Usually says nothing new, but may contain some comment on the future in terms of direction for further research
- Summarise your arguments and themes and bring them together
- Give general conclusions and make it clear to the reader why these are important.
- Finally relate all of this back to the title to illustrate how the question has been answered
Always proofread your work. Read through it several times and leave enough time (preferably 24 hours) between finishing your writing an starting to proofread. There are three areas to consider when you proofread your essay.
- Grammar: Have you made any spelling mistakes? Is your style appropriate? Is there any slang etc?
- Logic: Do your conclusions follow logically from your arguments? Have you supported your arguments well enough? Have you answered the question? Is there any irrelevant material?
- Plagiarism: Have you referenced all your material?