If you go to college with an assumption that you’ve learned everything there is to learn about writing essays back in high school, then you are in for a nasty surprise. A college marketing essay is an entirely different beast from what you’ve been taught before. In high school, it was enough to rehash the relevant chapter from a textbook and “express your thoughts”. In college, nobody is interested either in textbook material or in your thoughts unless they are backed up by original research and, preferably, grounded in practice.
In this guide we will cover, step by step, how to write a marketing essay you won’t have to rewrite half a dozen times to impress your professors.
Marketing deals with current problems and issues, which means that you can earn bonus points with your professor or tutor if you find a topic that is relevant here and now instead of repeating the same generalities as everybody else. Here are a few ways to get ideas for a topic:
However, before you proceed with writing, you should ask yourself a few questions:
If you need more specific ideas, consider these prompts – each of them can serve as a basis for a dozen original and interesting essays:
Just as with any other writing assignment, you start your job with gathering enough reliable sources of information to support your point of view and demonstrate that it is based on existing body of research, not just your own conjectures. In fact, it is best to do a bout of information before you settle down with a topic to make sure you will have enough material to work with.
How many sources you need may vary – if it isn’t mentioned in the assignment you should consult your supervisor. Some students decide that the more the better – however, it isn’t always true. Using fifty sources to write a one-page essay is a bit excessive (and makes the professor doubt whether you really used all of them or simply added them to works cited page to make a better impression). General rule of a thumb is this: start with at least 3 sources and add one for each page after the first one.
Also, consider the quality of the sources. Although marketing as a discipline is less conservative than, for example, psychology or physics, you still have to maintain certain standards. For example, blog posts aren’t usually considered to be a viable source of information. This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot use online sources – you simply have to look for them using special academic search engines like Google Scholar. When choosing sources, follow these guidelines:
In order to write most marketing essays you have to prepare at least a superficial market research related to your topic, even if you are dealing with a past case. Its details may vary, but most commonly you should do the following:
Just like any other academic assignment, a marketing essay should start with a thesis statement – that is, the primary idea behind your writing, your viewpoint on the subject you are about to discuss and the purpose of your essay condensed to one or two sentences.
Depending on the size of your essay, place thesis statement either in the introduction (in smaller assignments) or in the second paragraph (in larger ones). Be concise and straightforward and avoid vague expressions. However, don’t run the opposite extreme – phrases like “the topic of my essay is…” and “the purpose of my essay” are fit for middle school, not college.
You should formulate your thesis statement before writing anything else, as the entire essay revolves around it. If by the time you finish writing you feel that your perception of the subject changed, don’t hesitate to come back and alter it to suit the final variant of the essay better.
Introduction per se serves a technical purpose – it should grasp the reader’s attention and lead him up to the thesis statement. Use anything that will cause the necessary effect. Here are some tips that will help you write a better introduction:
Marketing is more concerned with provable facts and methods used to achieve the results and less with your personal thoughts and opinions on the subject. If you cannot prove that certain results are connected with certain factors, your opinion doesn’t mean much. That is why you should pay special attention to describing how you reached your conclusions:
The number of body paragraphs, carrying the main content of the essay, can vary, but they are usually written following the same structure (sometimes called TEEL or TEECL):
Marketing is all about practical application of knowledge and information, and it is not enough to just analyze the subject. That is why in conclusion – in addition to summing up your argument and explaining the value of your research – you are expected to offer your recommendations to solving the problem discussed in the main part.
Ideally, you should set your essay aside for at least a day or two before revising it. Immediately after you’ve finished writing you are too used to your own words and sentence structures to notice most of the mistakes you’ve made. Better yet, have a trusted friend or a professional proofreader (or both) read your essay and point out all the errors they’ve noticed.
However, this doesn’t replace a dedicated effort at proofreading on your own. Here are things you should pay attention to in addition to grammar and syntax:
When you are first given an essay to write you are assigned an academic style to use: APA, MLA or some other. You can find most information needed to successfully write an essay using one of them on websites like Purdue Owl. However, getting a relevant style guide is still a good idea.
You will probably have most trouble with citations and bibliography page. If you have problems keeping in mind all the requirements in the style guide, consider using one of the websites generating citation entries based on your input.
Finally, a word to the wise. Don’t put writing off until the last possible moment – it always tends to take more time than you expect. If, however, you manage to finish the assignment a few days before the deadline, take a little break and then reread it carefully. If you find that you don’t like some parts of it, don’t hesitate to cut and rewrite – it may mean all the difference between a passing and a failing grade.