Business Writer 3 |

·  This assignment helps you develop the skills to master the following course competencies:

  • Apply critical thinking to business-related activities.
  • Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business professions.

While everyone has their own process for writing, creating an outline is often an important early step in the process in all types of writing, even for the most seasoned writers. By creating an outline, you draft a plan that organizes your thoughts, helps you see gaps in your thought process, and enables you to decide where in your paper you will address particular issues.

An annotated outline is a document that organizes the main sections to be included in your paper. The annotations are based on thinking through your approach to the paper and developing enough detail that anyone who reads the outline can follow your thought process.

The purpose of this assignment is threefold:

  • To build an outline that shows the content and organization of your paper both so your instructor can approve it and to make it easier for you to move forward.
  • To demonstrate that you have conducted some research and know how to cite in APA format by including some quotations. Note that you may or may not use these sources and quotes in your actual paper; you may have found better sources in a couple of weeks.
  • To demonstrate your ability to create a well-organized document, suitable for academics or business, that meets established criteria.

Activity Instructions

For this assignment, create an annotated outline that provides a framework, or skeleton, of your course project analysis paper and presentation.

Begin by rereading the project description. Your annotated outline must state the name of your chosen business and must include the following:

  • An abstract.
  • An introduction.
  • A conclusion.
  • At least four other headings in between.
    • Of the four headings, one must be Social Media Audit and Comparison; one must be SWOT Analysis; and one must be Recommendations.
    • Each of the four headings must have at least two subpoints to develop the detail required.
    • Each of the four headings must incorporate at least one quotation or paraphrase from a source that you might use for support, with an APA in-text citation.
    • In your final draft, one of your headings or subheadings will specifically address the ethical aspects associated with your chosen business. However, since we will not address ethical issues until Unit 5, you may include a heading or subheading as a placeholder in this assignment, to be completed after Unit 5.
  • A section for References. In that section, list the full APA citations for all the sources you used in the annotated outline.

Refer to Developing an Annotated Outline (linked in the Resources) from the Capella Writing Center for more information on annotated outlines.

Example assignment: You may use the Annotated Outline Example, linked in the Resources, to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like.

Submission Requirements

  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to APA style and formatting.
  • Number of resources: Use a minimum of 4 resources.
  • Length of paper: Prepare 2–4 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Font and font size: Use Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Refer to the Annotated Outline Scoring Guide to ensure that you meet the grading criteria for this assessment.

After you submit your assignment to your instructor:

  • Submit a copy of the assignment to Smarthinking (linked in the Resources), requesting assistance with ideas and organization (that is, “global” issues).
  • Post your outline in the Peer Review discussion in this unit. By Tuesday of next week, select the annotated outline submitted by one of your peers and provide your review in the discussion in Unit 4. Focus on what you see as global issues—questions and comments related to the ideas and the structure of the outline—rather than local issues such as spelling and grammar.

Optional Help – Brushing Up on Skills

Creating an outline is an important early step in writing. Outlines are effectively used to create all types of written works, from academic papers to business documents, movie scripts to novels. As noted above, when you create an outline you help yourself to organize your thoughts, create a flow of information, and identify gaps in what you plan to cover.

Creating an outline also helps to make a larger writing project less daunting. Once you have an effective outline in place, you have done at least 25 percent of your work. Then, you need just complete the research and flesh the paper out. If you experience writer’s block, as both novice and experienced writers sometimes do, an outline allows you to skip a difficult section and work on another section, so that you can continue to be productive.

In an academic and business setting, an outline also provides a great opportunity for you to get feedback from your instructor, supervisor, or client to ensure that you are on the right track with your content. Developing an Annotated Outline (in the Resources) will help you to create your outline, so be sure to read this. You can use Roman numerals, numbers, or even bullet points.

Be sure to include everything mentioned above in the Activity Instructions. If you are not familiar with the term SWOT analysis, see the SWOT Analysis description, linked in the Resources. As you develop the sections for this paper, consider what question you want to answer, what information you need to answer it, what you might find interesting as a reader, and what you want to learn as an MBA learner.

Note: Your instructor may also use the Writing Feedback Tool to provide feedback on your writing. In the tool, click the linked resources for helpful writing information.

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