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Essay Example


Structure of an Essay and an Outline

For this class, you will write an essay that relates to any topics in Industrial Organization. Some rules apply:

  • Students select one person or company that had a profound impact on a market or industry.

  • Two or more students cannot select the same topic. Some topics can be related. For example, one person can select Bill Gates, while another person can select the methods Microsoft used to bankrupt Netscape (Which evolved into Firefox).

  • If two or more students write the same topic, only one student earns the credit, while the other student earns a zero.

  • The body of the essay must be at least 500 words, double space, 12-point font.

  • You must cite at least three references, and use a common citation system. UUM uses the American Psychological Association (APA) citation which is one of the most popular citation systems.

  • You must write the essay in your own words and then submit it via email to me. The lecturer will check your essay for copy and paste plagiarism. If you plagiarize your essay, your grade will be a zero for this assignment.

  • I reiterate, I do check for “copy and paste” plagiarism. If we use Turnitin for the plagiarism checker, then a score of 30% or greater will result in a zero. Since Turnitin can be erratic, I will double check before issuing a zero.

  • You must structure your essay in the exact format, which starts on the next page.

  • I will review how to cite references using the APA format in class, and present an essay. That way, this assignment should be clear.



  • Introduce your topic; interest your readers from the beginning.

  • Present a historic or interesting fact especially if you are writing about a person.

  • Introduction could be something historical or innovative about the company.

  • The last sentence in the introduction is the thesis statement. The thesis is the argument or point of the essay.

Supporting Paragraphs

  • A typical essay has usually from three to five supporting paragraphs.

  • Starts with the topic sentence. The topic sentence introduces the idea of the paragraph.

  • The supporting paragraph strengthens the thesis statement.

  • You can include economic analysis.


  • Summarize the main conclusions of the essay

  • The conclusions must be supported by the analysis

Some points

  • I do not enjoy writing and always struggled with writing. Writing is like lifting weights. Pumping iron builds muscle, while writing regularly builds writing skills.

  • This appears to be true. Good writers are critical of their writing ability, and are always trying to improve. Bad writers believe they write well, and they think they do not need any improvement.

  • I am not checking for an outline. However, I use an outline to organize my ideas and thoughts.

An Example of an Outline

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University to start his software company, Microsoft. Why is this significant? Most employers will not hire college or high school dropouts, including Microsoft.
Thesis statement: Bill Gates believes he could make money by copyrighting software. This was Microsoft’s niche. Every paragraph must relate to the thesis statement.

Supporting Paragraph 1:
During the 1970s, computer programmers freely exchanged programs and software.
They believed in paying for hardware and not software
Introduce economics: Developing new software entails high fixed costs. However, distributing software has a marginal cost close to zero.
Distributing software is close to being a public good.

Supporting Paragraph 2
The leader in the computer industry in the 1970s was International Business Machines (IBM)
They focused on mini and main frame computers
Management thought personal computers (PCs) were a fad
They did not focus on software until it was too late
Their management was bureaucratic, slow, cumbersome, etc.
Microsoft eventually dominated IBM

Supporting Paragraph 3
The innovative computer company was Apple Computers.
They focused on hardware
Their hardware came with the software
Bill Gates focused on software, and ported his software to run on a variety of machines

Bill Gates discovered his niche.
He became one of the richest men in the world with a net worth approximately $40 billion.

Written Essay


The Rise of Microsoft

The iconic symbol behind Microsoft is the computer genius Bill Gates. While he studied at Harvard University during the 1970s, the first personal computer, Altair 8080, was being sold through mail order kits from the magazine, Popular Electronics. This basic computer ignited the imaginations of engineers, hobbyists, and tinkers as small computers became available within the financial means of the public. Subsequently, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University to establish his software company, Microsoft. He began writing software for the Altair computer. This software became Bill Gates’ niche because he believed he could make money by copyrighting software.

Computer programmers during the 1970s believed they should pay for hardware but not software. They freely exchanged programs and software. One reason for this dichotomy is computer hardware is a standard good while software borders being a public good. This means sellers and producers of public goods have trouble limiting the distribution of their product to paying consumers. Consequently, free loaders can enjoy consuming the public good without paying for it. Furthermore, computer programmers who develop new software face high fixed costs while distributing and selling the software has a marginal cost close to zero because a person can copy a program freely onto a floppy disk that is relatively cheap. (The modern internet allows the distribution of software for free). Economic theory suggests the market price should equal the product’s marginal cost, which in this case would be close to zero. Thus, software companies could have trouble recouping their fixed cost of developing the software. However, Microsoft successfully copyrighted its software and earned enormous profits in the process.

The leader in the computer industry in the 1970s was International Business Machines (IBM). As sales of the personal computer ignited, IBM focused on mini and main frame computers because IBM’s management thought the personal computers were a fad. Unfortunately, IBM’s management was bureaucratic, slow, and cumbersome. The mini and main frame computers are machines that start as the size of refrigerators and can span a whole room. IBM’s customers were large corporations, government agencies, and universities because they were the only ones who could afford them. Unfortunately, IBM was wrong, and the personal computer was not a fad. Accordingly, it did not switch its focus on software and personal computers until it was too late. Microsoft was too large and too far ahead to overtake.

The 1970s witnessed the rise of another innovative computer company, Apple Computers. This company introduced the public to a Graphical User Interface (GUI), or we would call it an operating system that uses graphics, icons, and a mouse. However, Apple Computers focused on hardware, and Apple’s software came freely with the machine. However, this created a hole and opportunity in the market. Apple Computers were relatively expensive. It catered to the higher end of the market while numerous computer companies were literally dumping low-cost personal computers onto the market. Most of these computers came with Microsoft software already installed on the machines. Hence, Bill Gates focused on software, and ported his software to run on a large variety of machines which increased his market share to roughly 90% of the market.

Bill Gates entered the computer industry at an opportune time, and he discovered his niche. He successfully earned enormous profits by copyrighting software even though software comes close to being a public good. Consequently, he became one of the richest men in the world with a net worth approximately $40 billion.


  • I have a very tight structure for the essay. I wrote the thesis statement at the end of the paragraph.

  • Every paragraph begins with a topic sentence, which describes the information inside the paragraph.

  • Every paragraph relates back to the thesis, and supports it in some manner.

  • I did add new information about Bill Gates being a billionaire in the conclusion, but that is the reward of his niche. Technically, the conclusion reiterates the main points of the essay, but this can get boring after a while. So, I brought new information into the essay.

  • Each paragraph has a point.

    • The second paragraph describes the environment and time when Microsoft started.

    • The third paragraph describes the main competitor who could have stopped Microsoft.

    • The fourth paragraph describes another innovative computer company. However, this company focused on another end of the market.


Final Note

I use English grammar software to check my grammar. Although the software has problems and glitches, I find it to be a useful crutch. I use the software to replace the English teachers who have given up on me.

Grammarly rated my Bill Gate’s essay at 88 out of a hundred, which is very good for me. This is a B+.

I believe Ginger grammar checker is free. It is not that good, but it is better than Word’s grammar checker.


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