Learning how to write a business term paper may seem like an overwhelming task, but if you already know how to write papers in other topics, the transition to crafting a good business paper isn’t too difficult. It is a matter of knowing your topic, understanding how to do solid research and backing up your analysis with credible facts. And, as with other papers, presentation is key too.
Generally. business papers have somewhat of a standardized structure, however it is vital to pay close attention to your professor’s instructions. Different instructors may have specific criteria or layout they want you to utilize.
Here are some general tips to writing a business paper:
Choose Your Topic
If a topic is provided by the instructor, this step is greatly simplified, however often a student is given a range of ideas or open choice on a business topic. It may be to choose a company to analyze or it could be to develop a formal business plan.
If you have to decide on your own topic, brainstorming typically yields good results. There are many approaches to brainstorming, and it is important to select a technique that works for you. The key idea is to get your ideas listed and then come up with a succinct topic that is appropriate to the assignment. Once you complete this, you can submit your topic suggestion for approval by your professor, if required.
Lay Out the Formal Structure
The general structure of a business paper contains a title page, table of contents, executive summary/introduction, main body, conclusion and/or recommendations, references/bibliography and appendices. While with some papers it is acceptable to create an introduction, often professors may require a formal executive summary for business papers, in order to structure a more professional document.
“The main body of your business term paper is the longest part. It has sections and sub-sections. In every section, you need to state a main point, argument or appropriate information. Now you have to develop the argument in an intelligible way.”
If you’ve decided to follow a theory or other analysis, be sure to expand upon the original and primary sources and include your own thoughts and evaluation. And, if your instructor requires an executive summary, always remember to write this portion at the very end. Otherwise you’ll probably either a) not have an accurate or full summary or b) have to go back and redo it.
Break Project Down Into Segments
In any term paper assignment, a solid approach is to break down each segment to reduce some of the stress, which may accompany the assignment. Looking at smaller pieces and working through those one or two at a time is often easier to digest rather than focusing on the task as a whole.
Many business papers require additional pieces of information aside from the main section of the paper. You may need to create slide-shows, tables, graphs and/or other charts. Be sure to consider these other supporting materials in your planning. These segments will require additional work/researc/configuration aside from the straight-forward writing.
Assemble Credible Sources
With modern technology research can be conducted through a number of approaches, however, the tried and true of traditional research still applies. Chances are the Internet and your school’s online library will be your primary tools, however selecting appropriate sources is critical. A good rule of thumb for any research paper is to use a combination of web references, periodicals and reference books to cover the span of information required to thoroughly cover the topic. Stay away from Wiki-type sites, most schools will discount this and/or have rules against using it.
When constructing a business paper it is necessary to use quality and reputable sources; credibility is essential. As you work, it is helpful to document, cite and create a list of references during your research; this way you can avoid a last minute scurry of trying to appropriately source which information came from where. Keeping careful documentation of research as you go along will prove invaluable.
Also pay attention to the type of sourcing preferred; some colleges use MLA others prefer APA documentation style. Following directives to the specific requested format for citations is essential.
Proofreading is essential in any subject area; however, in business topics you want to be careful not only of typos and grammar errors, but sourcing needs to be accurate; and opinions need to be backed up by facts to ensure your work has credibility. Also remember to double check any business data or other statistics, one typo in these areas can prove to be a significant and visible error.
Writing business papers is formulaic and once you get the basic layout down and understand the specifics of the assignment, the process is often a lot simpler than it initially seems.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.