So what are essays like in International Business Management and how do they differ from reports?
An essay is really a collection of or a flow of information that has been gathered about a particular topic, so what we are trying to do is get the...., get our students to understand a particular argument and defend the argument within an essay format. And really we try to encourage our students to not have titles, or headings, in an essay because it has that very coherent flow of information.
As opposed to a group report - that is very structured, there are lots of headings, it's a collection of information that can be broken down, but not necessarily coherent. So there's not a coherent argument, but there is a collection of information being gathered.
But if I had to look at an essay, there certainly has to be an argument there that is highlighted, has been made aware, what the weaknesses are, what the drawbacks are, what the strengths are, but in a very coherent way. So it's almost like having the headings of a group report but it's silent, it's invisible. But it has an absolute flow.
So what are the criteria that are sort of mapped onto the structure? How does that work?
Well, it's looking at content, so what kind of content are we looking at? You know, in the first year, we don't want them to write too much description. Yes, description is going to be important, but we want to try and teach them how to develop a coherent argument. So how do we turn something that's quite descriptive into looking at the strengths and looking at the weaknesses, what are the pros and what are the cons, in terms of developing a coherent answer?