Writing in the Disciplines
Through the Writing Excellence Initiative, Elon aspires to prepare every student, undergraduate and graduate, in every major, to be an excellent writer.
Each Love School of Business major and program includes courses involving writing projects. A few examples include:
- Staffing of Organizations: A complete staffing plan for a specific job. The purpose of this project is to allow students to apply the content acquired in class as they will when staffing in their post-graduation careers. The tasks are three-fold. First, they conduct a job analysis, culminating in a written job description, tasks/duties/responsibilities, and job specifications. Second, based on the job analysis and research, they propose how to best identify and attract qualified applicants. Finally, they design an evidence-based system to assess and select from likely applicants.
- Business Economics: A business report for a consulting project. Students are asked to do rigorous analytical work in Microsoft Excel and write their results and recommendations in report form. Specifically, students use regression analysis in Excel to estimate demand functions and calculate elasticities. They then interpret these calculations and recommend price changes for a hypothetical client. Students also use Solver, a data analysis tool in Excel, to calculate current profit, estimate profit that would result from a proposed merger, and provide recommendations to their client on whether the client should go through with the merger.
- Economic Consulting: Consulting teams (4 to 5 students) receive a case narrative that includes a real-world request for a proposal. In response, the team must formulate a research question, identify and analyze appropriate data to address it, and prepare several business memorandums and a short report to share their findings. Students practice their writing skills throughout the semester as they prepare to enter the workforce. For additional details, see Economic Consulting (BSBA) Team Research Project.
- Strategic Management: An executive memorandum assessing a company’s strategic challenges and performance. Students conduct qualitative and quantitative research applying course concepts to complex situations, distilling data into a clear, actionable plan. The resulting memo diagnoses the root cause of a problem and identifies potential solutions. Additionally, the memo considers the impact of its recommendations on multiple stakeholders. This project encourages critical evaluation, analysis, and persuasion while emphasizing clear and concise communication.
- Principles of Accounting: A financial statement footnote, prepared in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, for a fictional company’s property, plant and equipment disclosures. This assignment is unique in that it emphasizes concise, technical writing for intended use by a firm’s external stakeholders, such as investors and creditors.
- Federal Income Taxation: A memo describing the results of research using a tax research database. Students are assigned a set of facts and must identify the appropriate research question, locate pertinent tax authorities, and describe these authorities to fully support their conclusions.
- Accounting Information Systems: A semester-long project in which students describe the revenue, expenditure and human resources business processes of their own design. The project requires students to consider the concepts they learned in all business core courses. Emphasis is placed on thinking critically about appropriate applications of internal control principles to achieve valid, accurate, and complete capturing and processing of business transactions.
- Investments: A critical part of the investment process is creating a comprehensive investment policy statement that accurately reflects the goals, risk tolerance, and constraints facing the client. In this semester-long project, students begin by selecting a client profile and interviewing another student posing as this client. Students then manage client funds using real financial products in a simulated environment. Throughout the semester, students produce reports explaining their performance and how it relates to the investment policy statement that they created at the start of the simulation.
- Project Management: Students complete two software demonstration exercises (using Microsoft Project and Oracle Crystal Ball) and submit reports to stakeholders. In the Microsoft Project exercise, students use project data to create and analyze a simulated project schedule and budget. In the Crystal Ball exercise, students develop and analyze a spreadsheet model using Monte Carlo simulation. The results of both exercises, as well as lessons learned, are communicated to stakeholders via project artifacts (written reports).
Elon’s Center for Writing Excellence, which integrates The Writing Center and Writing Across the University programs, serves as a campus resource for support, collaboration and inspiration for all writing-related activities on our campus.