Academic and Business Writing

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Thomas A. Crain. August 10, 2013. Business Communication. • Are communication skills important for managers?. • What communications skills do they need?. . What Managers Do. Business Concerns About Writing. ID: 575457 Download Presentation

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Academic and Business Writing

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Presentations text content in Academic and Business Writing


Academic and Business Writing

Thomas A. CrainAugust 10, 2013


Business Communication

• Are communication skills important for managers?• What communications skills do they need?


What Managers Do


Business Concerns About Writing

• “Business Schools Take Aim at Bad Writing” (Associated Press)• “What Corporate America Can’t Build: A Sentence” The New York Times• “Students Struggle for Words: Business Schools Put Greater Emphasis on Writing Amid Employer Complaints” Wall Street Journal


The Importance of Writing

• U.S firms spent $3 billion in 2004 on remedial writing training. • Strong writing and speaking are always among the top three skills for which employers and job recruiters look. • Writing ability is a marker and gatekeeper for high-wage, professional jobs.


Writing as Thought and Self Reflection

At some level, you are what you write

“You don’t know what you

know until you write it


Charles Samuels

“ Writing is an act of


Robert Frost


A Starting Point

Three things to consider whenever beginning to write: • What is my purpose? • Who is my audience? • What is my scope?Effective writing is clear as to its purpose, audience, and scope.


Three Principles of Effective Writing

• Clarity • Brevity • Variety


Brevity and Clarity

• Arthur Levitt (SEC) and the Plain English Movement

• Bumper sticker: Eschew obfuscation

“It is my job to ensure proper process deployment activities take place to support process institutionalization and sustainment. Business process management is the core deliverable of my role, which requires that I identify process competency gaps and fill those gaps.”



“Language is the infinite use of finite means.” –Noam Chomsky


Three Principles of Organization

• Unity• Coherence• Development


Argument and Evidence

Four elements of a logical argument • issue • conclusion (position) • reasons • evidence


Business Communication

• How do academic and business writing differ?


Evaluating Academic Writing

• Assignment

• Mechanics

• Organization

• Thought


Research and Evidence

• Why is research particularly important at Hopkins? • What sources of information does research involve? • Why consult sources?


We Consult Sources

To confirm what we already know

To find answers for what we don’t

For background information

For explanations/information

To help us articulate a


To help us structure an


To find


to support an argument


APA Manuscript Style

• What is APA style? • Why do we use it at Carey?


APA Manuscript Format

• 8 ½ x 11 inch white paper

• 12-point font size: preferred, Times Roman or Ariel

• Margins: one inch on all sides

• Pages are numbered with header

• Paper is double spaced

• Start of each new paragraphs is indented 5 to 7 spaces

• No extra space between paragraphs

• Headings (see APA checklist)

• Title page (see APA checklist)


APA Documentation

APA documentation of sources uses

• In-text citations

• A references list, alphabetized, that

follows the body of the paper and is

titled “References”

See sample paper.


Why Cite?

• To give credit to your source; to acknowledge others’ work and intellectual property.• To demonstrate good scholarship by providing evidence and a paper trail so that your reader can check your sources—whether out of interest or to confirm what you have written.• To join a community of scholars• To avoid plagiarism.



• What is plagiarism?• Why does it occur?• Why is it unethical?• What are its consequences?


Example: Block quote

Porter and Kramer (2006) write,

Broadly speaking, proponents of corporate social

responsibility (CSR) have used four arguments to make

their case: moral obligation, sustainability, license to

operate, and reputation... All four schools of thought share

the same weakness: They focus on the tension between

business and society rather than on their interdependence.

Each creates a generic rationale that is not tied to the

strategy and operation of any specific company or the

places in which it operates. (p. 81, 84)

Their argument goes on to suggest that a company needs to analyze its value chain and find where it can make the

greatest impact.


Example: Short Quotes

Porter and Kramer (2006) write that, “broadly speaking, proponents of corporate social responsibility (CSR)” have justified their efforts in one of four ways: “Moral obligation, sustainability, license to operate, and reputation” (p. 81, 84).



According to Porter and Kramer (2006), the reasons that corporations give for their CSR efforts usually fit into one of four categories: (1) the value of a good name and image, (2) an appeal to ethical norms, (3) the recent focus on environmental sustainability, and (4) the fact that firms exist only with society’s permission. In the authors’ view, these reasons do not suffice to justify CSR (p. 81).



CSR efforts are often built on inadequate foundations and miss opportunities to blend what is good for society with what is good for the firm (Porter and Kramer, 2006).



Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006, December). Strategy and

society: The link between competitive advantage and

corporate social responsibility.

Harvard Business Review




Sample References

Barrett, D. (2006)

Leadership communication

. Boston, MA:

McGraw Hill. [book]

MacLeish, W.H. (1980, September). Our barrier islands.


283(1), 54. [article in journal]

O’Neil, J.M., & Egan, J. (1992). Men’s and women’s gender role

journeys. In B.R. Wainrib (Ed.). (1996).

Gender issues

across the life cycle

(pp. 107-123). New York: Springer.

[article reprinted in a book]


Electronic References

Brockerhoff, E. G., Jactel, H., Parrotta, J. A., Quine, C. P., & Sayer,

J. (2008). Plantation forests and biodiversity: Oxymoron or

opportunity? [Abstract].

Biodiversity and Conservation, 17




Rupley, S. (2010, February 26). The myth of the benign monopoly.



Retrieved from


On -Line Resources for APA Style

Diane Hacker:

• Finding Sources

• Documenting Sources

– APA in-text citations

– APA list of references

– APA manuscript format

– Sample paper




1. Tutor Referral Network Program

410-234-9240 or email

2. Writing Center

3. Office for International Students

Director: John Lorch


4. Courses for Non-Native Speakers of English


Power Point Slides

These slides will be posted on the orientation web site on

Monday. The web address is

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