4 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009
This note delineates proper writing mechanics—issues of style and organization—in a business-school context. Rather than touch up on the many forms of business writing, it focuses instead on how to write cogently, succinctly, and correctly in a business, and business school, setting.
Rev. Oct. 16, 2009
MBA Writing Diagnostic
The purpose of this note is to aid students and instructors in evaluating writing mechanics—issues of style and organization—in a business-school context. In this sense, it follows the relevant precepts for this audience set out in Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. This note does not touch upon the many forms of writing frequently used in business, though it does supplement Mary Munter's The Guide to Managerial Communication.
The issues raised here are the kind most commonly found in writing by people trained in analytical thinking. On the one hand, given the current emphasis of secondary and university education, it is possible that high-achieving students have done little essay writing and therefore little editing for clarity of the type that is common in courses that further the lessons of introductory composition. Training in basic logic seems a thing of the distant past, and exists, for our purposes, largely in the training programs of consulting firms.
On the other hand, a predisposition to analytical thinking tends to raise issues of “audience,” both on the level of style and organization. For a bright, analytical person, it is tricky to make ideas plain without sacrificing content. Sometimes it is a case of wordiness; more often it is leaving out supporting details or evidence that may be obvious to the writer, but not to the reader.
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Keywords: writing introductory MBA executive memo report presentation skills
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Rubin, James, MBA Writing Diagnostic. Darden Case No. UVA-BC-0216. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1416509
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