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Essay Writing: An important tool for MBA selection process

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Essay Writing: An important tool for MBA selection process

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Essay Writing: An important tool for MBA selection process  

An essay is a short piece of writing on a topic and generally presents the author's point of view on the matter. It is an organized collection of ideas. It could be based upon any real experience or imaginary idea of the author. It is the presentation of your outlook on the topic that is the focus of the essay. There is no any fixed format of essay but the most standard essay compromises of the following:

  • An introduction
  • A three point(paragraph) body
  • A conclusion

It is important to structure an essay in different sections so that it is easy for the readers to read and follow the author's thoughts clearly.

Essays could be of different types, for instance:

  • Argumentative Essay - Argumentative essays are written to present an opinion which either favors or disagrees with a given topic. The writer of the Argumentative essay must prove his/her viewpoint by supporting it with convincing facts and evidences from the reliable sources.

  • Autobiographical Essay - An autobiographical essay is a short description of the writer's own life. It highlights the main aspects of your personal, educational, social and professional life.

  • Biographical Essay - Writing someone else's 'Autobiography', but called biography as it is not written by the concerned person himself/herself rather they their story written by other.

  • Descriptive Essay - A descriptive essay gives the detailed description about a topic like person, place, or any incident.

  • Narrative Essay - A narrative essay is used to narrate a course of events. We can share our experiences by means of the essay.

  • Persuasive Essay - Persuasive essay is used by the writer to convince the readers to believe in his opinion.

  • Pictorial Essay - A Pictorial essay is a collection of photographs that tell a story. The writers could add captions or text along with the photographs for a better description.

B-Schools believe that the admission process of conducting Group Discussion and then Personal Interview has become so predictable that students mostly come prepared and it becomes difficult for the panel to judge their real ability. That is why; this new trend of conducting WAT instead of GD will help the admission committee judge a candidate in a better way.

How to write impressive essays?
An impressive essay could be written only if you have a complete structure of the essay in your mind. You need the follow the following steps for writing a lot of practice essays and you will realize that your thought process is actually developing in the same direction.

These simple steps will guide you through the essay writing process:

  • Decide on your topic.
  • Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.
  • Write the main essence of your essay in one statement.
  • Start writing the introduction
  • Write the main points.
  • Write the sub points.
  • Elaborate on the sub points.
  • Write the conclusion.
  • Add the finishing touches.

Sometimes, you may face a situation where you will be shown several pictures and asked to write a story or essay based on them. It will no different from a pictorial essay that we have discussed above. You just need to concentrate on the pictures shown and create a topic on your own. This, rather, is much easier to write than a given topic where you don't have the option to choose.

In the situation where you are provided with many topics and you need to pick one, then you should be wise and pick the topic that suits you or you may take help of the following points:

  • Select something that interests you
  • Choose something you have read about know about
  • Find an interesting way to approach a topic, i.e. one from the different types of essay we have discussed above
  • Start Brain storming
  • Narrow your topic down to a manageable size

If you can't find anything that thrills you, just pick something and get started. Take your most basic idea and start with it. But before jumping on to any particular topic, you need to evaluate each potential topic.

How to Choose a Stance or Position?
In many topics, you will be required to take a side on a specific issue in order to construct a persuasive essay or an argument so, you will need to know how to take a strong stance on a subject at some point. There is an art to taking a side. You have to be a little crafty. To really persuade someone in an argument essay, you have to know a little about each side and pick the one you can argue most effectively.

You must remember that you don't have to choose the side you believe, necessarily. If you are going to be graded according to your logical points, you might have to go against your gut feelings.

For instance, if a topic asks you argue either for or against the use of pesticide in cultivation of food grains. Then, you should avoid getting carried away in emotions and think practically. First, draw a line down the middle of a piece of scrap paper, dividing the sheet in half. Label one side as 'yes', and other side as 'no'. Then think of strengths for each side and list at least three strong points for both sides.

Once you have come up with various points for each side of your issue, read over the results to determine which side is strongest, and which you could argue most effectively. Decide which side has the points that you could back up with examples like statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes, observations, precedence, consequence, etc.

Even though you choose one side as the strongest for your argument, you must be able to demonstrate that you understand both sides of your issue. Keep this in mind as you construct your argument essay, and use the strengths that you listed for the opposite side.

Practice is the need of the hour!!
Essay writing is something that you cannot improve overnight. It has to be in your habit. For developing a habit of essay writing, you need to practice it on day to day basis. Writing practice is very important, but to develop a habit of analysis is much more important.

If you really want to reach a position where you can write an essay over any given topic, then you have to develop a habit of analyzing each and every situation as well as topic you come across. For analyzing, you need to chart the following steps:

  • Read: Learn as much as you can about any topic you think you are not much aware of. It could be anything like international relations, important historical events, great personalities, etc.

  • Think: It may seem obvious, but you really have to think about whatever you read and learn. You have to take a stance in each case and argue for as well as against the topic in your mind itself.

  • Investigate: Talk to classmates, friends, and teachers about the topics you have been reading. What do they think about them? The responses that you get from these people will give you a preview of how they would respond to your opinion in your essay. Talking out your ideas, and testing your opinions, gives you more of a clue of what you have to say to persuade them to your point of view.

  • Organize: In any essay that you write, you should make sure that your points are well-organized and that you are supporting or opposing the idea very clearly, concisely, and to-the point. In standard essay writing, though, it is especially important that you use specific examples to illustrate your main points. Don't give your observer the impression that you are not educated on the issues related to your topic. So, choose your words carefully.

Common Essay Mistakes
Many of us generally commit mistakes in writing essays on simple topics like "Why do you want to go to our college?" Admission Committee of the colleges comprise of learned and experienced people who can judge you based on what you have written. So, you need to be very careful and selective while framing and jotting your essay. Try to avoid the following common mistakes:

  • Vague Language - The Essay is generic and lacking detail
  • Length - The Essay is too long (or too short)
  • Lack of Focus - The Essay doesn't answer the question
  • Faulty Tone - You sound like a judgmental character, not buying any criticism
  • Faulty Impression - You sound too materialistic and self-interested
  • Faulty Structure - You are introducing the topic after you have presented you argument for the same
  • Deviated Thoughts - You are not concentrating on one point rather trying to illustrate too many facts without knowing how to organize them

Top 10 Business School Essay Writing Tips

  1. Don't Use Company Jargon
  2. Don't Bore the Reader. Be Interesting.
  3. Do Use Personal Detail. Show, Don't Tell!
  4. Be Concise. Don't Be Wordy
  5. Do Address Your Weaknesses. Don't Dwell on Them
  6. Do Vary Your Sentences and Use Transitions.
  7. Do Use Active Voice Verbs.
  8. Do Seek Multiple Opinions.
  9. Don't Wander. Do Stay Focused.
  10. Do Revise, Revise And Revise

Sample Essays:

Topic 1
India is the second most populated country of this world. It has its own pros and cons. You need to express your own views over 'Family Planning in India'.

Essay 1
Planning is a prerequisite for solving any problem. Our country, India, is facing an acute problem of increasing population. This problem has its root in the family-level and the solution of this problem lies in family-planning. So, family planning should be mandatory in India.

According to the 'Malthusian Theory', population increases in geometrical progression, i.e., at the rate of 1,2,4,8,16,32,. but the food production increases at the rate of arithmetical progression, i.e., at the rate of 1,2,3,4,5... Thus, the problem of population is not only about more and more people living in this country but this problem could be much more trivial like it could create food shortage, mal nutrition, poverty, high death rate, unemployment and much more.

We need to look at every angle to find a solution to this problem. For instance, the Government should make it necessary for every couple not to have more than two children. It can announce medical schemes for assisting poor couples in family planning.

However, mere planning on paper will not solve this dreaded problem. Government and the citizens of the country will have to execute the planning on the ground level. This is the only way of avoiding the crisis that we and our off-springs will face in future due to over population.

If every couple understands the benefits of family planning, we can overcome this issue in no time. The Government is encouraging family planning by introducing new and innovative schemes and education the people about the pros of less number of children like less number of children means greater care for them, good education for them, sufficient food for them, and a much better future for the children as well as their parents. Government has also opened many family planning clinics that are giving free advice, consultation and treatment to the public. People should co-operate in this attempt and make their nation one of the greatest country on this planet with better education, health facility, employment rate, growth rate, etc.

Topic 2
How Does Outsourcing Affect the U.S. Economy?

Essay 2
How outsourcing affects the US economy is a matter of great debate. For those who speak for the international business and globalization, this practice will have an overall positive effect on the US economy - since it is economical for companies to hire less expensive work force of other developing countries, opens up opportunities for greater entrepreneurship in the US, and leads to more Americans holding higher level jobs.

Critics suggest that hiring foreign workers has an immediate effect on the US economy by stripping many Americans of jobs they would have performed, particularly by semi-skilled or skilled laborers as all the American population is not to be placed at higher level of managerial hierarchy.

Both sides on this issue and all those who try to navigate a middle road between the two sides, have some valid points. It is true that outsourcing has led to job loss in the US, and has had a detrimental effect on those people who may be only minimally qualified to work. However, it's also the case that there are plenty of skilled labor jobs being outsourced to foreign countries. The loss is not only to people with minimal job skills.

This is a problem for those Americans in certain who are needy and might take jobs that require minimal skill, but due to outsourcing it is now much harder to get jobs of this type. When President Clinton enacted the Welfare to Work plan in the 1990s, he was attempting to encourage people to get back to work so as to reduce government spending in welfare. Unfortunately, with fewer jobs available for unskilled workers, people may find themselves in exceptional poverty. Poverty does not benefit the US economy since it reduces consumer spending and tax revenues.

Even in the middle classes, there are plenty of jobs that are now outsourced. This has been particularly the case in the computer and technology industry. Again, inability to find work means inability to purchase homes, spend money, and profit companies. When people don't buy, corporations that produce things don't make money, which can thus "trickle down" to fewer jobs available and a greater desire to outsource to make things more cheaply so they will be more attractive to consumers.

Those supporting outsourcing say that lowering expenses of corporations will create jobs. There are plenty of government agencies that outsource some of their work, saving millions of dollars which has a direct effect on the US economy. A common theory contends that being able to pay people lower wages for work means that companies will be able to produce things with less expense and transfer this saving to consumers. Lower prices may mean more consumer-spending, and companies will be able to hire more workers in the US because they're paying less for workers outside of it.

Further, many argue that giving jobs to workers in less developed countries improves those countries economically and increases trade for US products. It also increases a country's ability to pay back debts to the US, and may promote better political relationships. Companies economically benefit by selling their products in other countries. This means they can hire more people in the US, lower their prices on products for US consumers.

There is another "side" to the issue of outsourcing that needs to be addressed. Not all people in other countries economically benefit from outsourced jobs, and some companies aren't dedicated to providing humane working conditions. Outsourced work may be performed by children, or in inhumane working conditions. Abuses of foreign employees might not benefit US trade or political relationships.

Outsourcing remains a difficult issue, but it does remain. Virtually no one, on any side of the argument concedes that outsourcing can be eliminated completely. There are those who feel that corporations are evading taxes and depriving the government of needed money and suggests corporations should be taxed for outsourcing, and rewarded for keeping jobs within the US. Others feel the temporary loss of jobs will be followed by greater economic growth in the US and will ultimately be worth the cost.

Topic 3
Express your views over 'Alcohol and Youth'.

Essay 3
Alcohol is the most dangerous drug known to mankind and as well the world's most abused substance. It is observed that around the globe drinking alcoholic beverages has become a way of life. It is called a drug because its main ingredient is ethanol. Ethanol acts as a central nervous system depressant like a sleeping pill. In high dosage, alcohol acts as an anesthetic. In low doses it acts a behavioral stimulant for complex reasons.

On how impaired one becomes from the depressant effects of alcohol directlyrelated to a person's age, weight, gender, prior experience, and level of tolerance. And alcohol like other drug creates tolerance. So the more you use it, the more you need to achieve the same effect each time you drink. When alcohol is introduced into the stomach, it goes rapidly into the bloodstream. After entering the blood, it passes into the brain, where it exerts its effect on behavior. If a person is drunk, they will remain intoxicated until the body converts much of the alcohol into acetaldehyde.

Along with alcohol's effect on the brain causing sedation or drunkenness, it also causes a general loss of brain tissue. It also resulted to alcoholic dementia, a specific condition of the brain, in which individuals develop difficulty swallowing, suffer impaired problem-solving skills and have difficulty in manipulating subjects. Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition that alcohol is known to cause. When the liver is diseased with cirrhosis it is unable to function normally. Hearth disease is another concern for individuals who drink. They can also have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure which can them go on to cause strokes or further heart problem.

Consumption of alcoholic drinks leads to several death around the globe. Thus, we can say that alcoholic drinks bring many problems in ourselves and even in our society. In addition, it can also be a great threat for our young generations as young generations are the future leaders of our country. They are the one who will lead, guide and build a more successful and beautiful countries in the years to come. Thus, for them to fulfill their great role in this life, they need a lot of preparations knowledge and guidance to build a stronger foundation to their selves, but we all know at this moment, that a great number of young generations are facing a lot of trials, difficulties and struggles in life. For example, with the high-tech technology that we have and with this fast changing world, the young generations are in a pressure on how they will deal with these things. Peer pressure is also one of the reasons, it can add up burden to a person if the pressure is consistent.

This is just the examples of the pressure our younger generation is bearing. It could be more trivial if the elder and experienced generation does not guide these future guiding lights in the right direction. Our elders need to communicate with the youth freely and in a friendly manner so that if the young ones have any problem or pressure, they could discuss it without any hesitation rather than embracing any other options like drinking, drugs, etc.

Topic 4
Through some light over 'The Truth vs. Hype of FDI'

Essay 4
There are always many facts of any realistic situation, especially in the country where democracy is deemed above anything else, and where the right to freedom of speech and expression is used or misused, over and over again. Unlike the U.S., where only two major political alliances exist - the Democratic and the Republicans, we in India have a host of fronts other than two major alliances - the ruling party and the opposition, and all of them consistently scuffles over every single agenda and many times ignore the main issue and divert the whole argument.

Same is the case with introduction of Foreign Direct Investment (F.D.I) in the Indian retail market. The government has decided to open up the Indian retail market for global players through F.D.I. in multi-brand retail with a 51% threshold, i.e. they can have only 51% equity in the investment and 100% ceiling in single-brand retail. There are several versions of the possible outcome of this scenario floating in the different spheres of the country. But the different interpretations ought to be backed with rational reasons.

Broadly, there are two different views with regard to the decision of the Indian government to allow F.D.I. in Indian retail market, one supporting it and the other opposed to it.

The first argument is put forward by the government itself, supporting its resolution. The government claims that 10 million jobs will be created in the retail sector in the next three years. It mandates a minimum investment of 100 million U.S. dollars, approximately 500 crores rupees, for the foreign companies, with at least half the capital to be invested in back-end infrastructures, including cold chains, refrigeration, transportation, packing, sorting and storing. Now, this is a fact that India is not much developed in terms of infrastructures. Hence, this step can be deemed most welcoming.

Another very influential agenda pointed out by the government is the nuisance of middleman-ship. FDI in retail will ensure procurement of raw materials, especially of fruits and vegetables, directly from the farmers, thus filtering out the roles of middlemen. Another proposal buoying this idea is that a minimum of 30% of the value of manufactured items procured should be sourced from small and medium Indian enterprises. The government backs its decision with a host of other reasons, e.g., the presence of foreign retail majors will ensure supply chain efficiency. It also alludes to examples of some other nations like China, Thailand etc.

The second version includes the views of the opposition and those who consider this decision to be inconsistent with the nation's development. There are over 1.2 crores shops in India, employing over 4 crores people, 95% of which are small shops run by self-employed people. The opposition claims that the move will lead to large-scale job losses. Since there is no compulsion to procure all the raw and manufactured materials from Indian sources only, it may lead to domestic agro-industries getting haywire. The move can also lead to market prices being controlled by the foreign giants, further causing a slump of traditional Indian markets and monopoly in the markets. The fact being pointed out by the opposition is that any comparison being made between India and country like China is crushingly in genuine.

Both these versions of possible upshots are anything but restrained. And going by the history of our nation's reaction to issues pertaining to the common-man's life, a lot of hype is being created over the situation and the issue, by and large, is being blown out of proportions. These extremist views, being largely politically motivated, are far from being the truth.

The truth, in fact, lies somewhere in the middle; Firstly, a sheer glance at the whole matter at hand gives anyone the fair idea that this move is going to do more good than harm. Since the government is not directing anything against the Indian domestic enterprises, they can co-exist with the big guns of the world, and a healthy competition is never a bad idea in today's world. They should, in fact, look forward to work in liaison with these companies. If the idea to introduce F.D.I means that the farmers are going to get their worthy rewards and the masses are going to have access to better qualities of commodities at better prices, then this step should be welcomed with open arms, even if this means that a handful of people will be driven out of jobs, because while choosing between two evils, one should always go for the lesser evil.

However, if the government is backing its decision purely on the basis of examples and references of nations like China and U.S., then it should also keep in mind the grave differences between the highly-disciplined systems of theirs and the chaotic conditions of our system.

The bottom line is that any step of any nature taken by the government is always going to benefit a particular section of the society and at the same time, is going to be harmful for another section. But the million-dollar question is whether this decision has really been taken with a chaste heart, or is just another example of seasonal politics.

Team MBA Rendezvous will keep on posting such informative and useful material for your preparation. Wishing you all 'best of luck'!!

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