The following text is inspired by Gewin, Virginia. "How to write a first-class paper." Nature 555.7694 (2018). I made small adaptations for AS/A level Business and Economics essay-writing.

Keep your message clear

  • Before starting to write, think about the message that you want to give to the reader: a clear message avoids misinterpretations

  • Decide (before writing) about:

    • the main message

    • selection of data (from the extract)

    • visual presentation (e.g. diagrams, …​)

  • the most important information should be in the main text/paragraph

  • avoid speculation; instead use evidence-based conclusions (this includes scenario-building)

  • conclusions should include a personal expert statement

Create logical framework

  • In each paragraph:

    • the first sentence defines the context

    • the body contains the new idea

    • the final sentence offers a conclusion

  • The introduction sets the context (optional in short essays)

  • The main body of your essay is composed of balanced arguments

  • The conclusion contains the evaluation (e.g. judgement, advice, …​)

  • Guide the reader to the points where you want to give your judgement and advice

  • Focus on the straight line that your audience follows from the introduction to the conclusion

State your case with confidence

  • AS/A level students are often scared to make confident statements, especially in the conclusion/evaluation

  • Economics and Business essays depend a lot on a strong confident writing

  • As long as it is evidence-based, you should not hesitate to state your position with confidence

Think of story telling

  • Always think of your busy, tired reader when you write your essay

  • Deliver a paper that you would enjoy reading yourself

Aim for a wide audience

  • Write in a way that is accessible to non-specialists

  • Use terminology, but if it is very specific to your subject, define it to your reader