Essay Writing 1 for Students in
the BA in Human Resource
Management programme
Regional Writing Centre, UL
Patricia Herron, Lawrence Cleary and Dr. Íde O’Sullivan
Game Plan—What do we want to
accomplish today?
• How do we structure a business
• Getting it from my head onto paper in a
way that meets with my desires
• Sounding academic and being relevant
• vocabulary
What does the Writing Centre do?
• We help students to establish a
framework on which to build a way of
approaching any occasion for writing.
• We work on writers, not on writing.
• We look at processes, and ask
questions about writing strategies.
A Framework for
Writing-strategy Development
• Writing Process
• Writer-based Writing
• Prewriting
Assessing the Rhetorical Situation
Gathering information
• Drafting
• Getting your ideas down onto paper
• Organising your ideas in a way that allows you to
realize your purpose
A Framework for
Writing-strategy Development
• Reader-based Writing
• Revision
• Global revision: structural/paragraph-external
• Local revision: Editing and proofreading (paragraphinternal logic/sentence-level issues/accessible, but
inappropriate or imprecise)
Research and Writing Strategies
• Cognitive—what we think
• Metacognitive—what we do/plan
• Afffective—what we feel
• Social—how we involve others
Assessing the Rhetorical Situation
• Occasion
• Topic
• Audience
• Purpose
• Writer
Analysing the Assignment
• ‘Understanding organisational
behaviour has never been more
important for managers’ (Robbins,
• Explain why this is the case, outlining in
your answer the challenges and opportunities faced by managers, and the
value of understanding organisational
behaviour to a practicing manager.
Analysing the Assignment
• Let’s look at your assignment
• Topic?
• Aspect?
• Scope?
• Point of view?
• Instruction?
The Importance of Prewriting
• What do we do before we write?
• Assessing of the context into which we
• Making a provisional plan and trying to
visualize the paper
• Researching and note-taking as a strategy
against accidental plagiarism
Assessment Criteria
• What makes for a good essay at this
academic level?
• A clear organizing principle
• Logical, coherent overall structure with a sound,
easy-to-follow conceptual framework
• Well structured, cogent, coherent paragraphs
• A stimulating rhythm controlled by suitable, but
variable sentence structures
• Appropriate lexical choices
• Intertextuality
• Responsibility
• Understanding and accurate reporting
of the most current discourse on the
• Accurate reporting:
• Quoting—the author’s words
• Paraphrasing—a complete and accurate
rendition of the author’s thoughts
• Summarising—a general, but accurate idea
of what the author said/ the gist
• Referencing (parenthetically/in full)
• The academic project is not to be right,
but to expose what is true—regardless
of the consequences.
• Academic rigour requires that students
look beyond what lies on the surface,
considering inferences and evidence
that is based on cultural assumptions
that have no foundation in fact, but
only in cultural consensus.
Critical Thinking
• Knowing without understanding
• Critical analysis/evaluation of the work of
• Strengths and weaknesses and justifications for
the evaluations
• Similarities and differences in arguments or
methodologies, evidence or line of reasoning
• The degree to which something known can be
generalized to other populations/situations
• Degree of sophistication/complexity
Critical thinking means:
• Identifying the big players in a discourse on a
particular subject
• Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of all of the
various positions on a particular issue
• Being able to identify trends in thinking or
occurrences based on available evidence
• Constructing logical answer frameworks that lead
your audience through your thought process as you
follow the evidence
• Selecting the best evidence
• Selecting evidence that illustrates or demonstrates
your point or main argument
• The best time to begin writing is now
• Cover page with a working title
• Reference page—As you read and take
notes, write parenthetical references in
your notes and full references on a
reference page. You can always delete
sources that you do not refer to in your
• Drafting—beginning to give shape to the
• The best time to begin writing is now
• Cover page with a working title
• Reference page—As you read and take
notes, write parenthetical references in
your notes and full references on a
reference page. You can always delete
sources that you do not refer to in your
• Drafting—beginning to give shape to the
Drafting—A place to start
• What problems am I having with this
paper?/with essay-writing in general?
• Freewrite—tell us what it is about. Tell us
about the paper.
• 5minutes, non-stop
• Express complete thoughts (not bullets and
phrases, but sentences)
• Do not edit
• Private writing
• Sometimes we freewrite/draft just to
collect our thoughts.
• Sometimes we freewrite/draft just to
clarify our thoughts, to distinguish what
we know from what we only thought we
• Sometimes, freewriting/drafting is a
strategy that we use to begin the
paper—jumping in at the deep end.
Methods of Development
• In the assignment that I began with, what is
the relationship between the truth of the
proposition and these present day
challenges and opportunities?
• What is the relationship between these
present-day circumstances and the value of
understanding organizational behaviour?
• Can you say what these relationships are?
Can you explain these relationships to
yourself or others?
Methods of Development
• Given that you know that the truth of the
proposition is dependent on management’s
ability to skilfully match some aspect of their
understanding of organizational behaviour to
a particular present-day condition and that
the value of that understanding is dependent
on its ability to inform decisions that help the
organisation survive or grow, how does this
knowledge help you to develop the paper,
your explanation…your ideas?
• Can you diagram the development of ideas in
your paper?
Drafting and Global Issues
• When drafting, one might pause occasionally, to see if anything is developing—to see if
the paper is taking any identifiable direction.
• It is at this time that we are looking for some
sort of framework on which the paper (the
argument) will hang…a point of order.
• Do not worry about tone or grammar,
vocabulary or sentence structure, or

Essay Writing for PM4024 Organizational Behaviour 2