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CHECK SYLLABUS PLEASE, at least 3 academic sources! in the screenshots yo0u can see the feedback of the first attempt, it might help you!

Writing theme

The Writing theme of this unit concerns Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Zalando. The topic CSR connects the units Law, Financial Analysis, and Professional Writing. For Professional Writing you will do research about a CSR-related dilemma that concerns Zalando. You will form an opinion about the dilemma and write an argumentative essay about it.

What is CRS about? Some quotes:

Corporate Social Responsibility is ‘A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship through their waste and pollution reduction processes, by contributing to educational and social programs, and by earning adequate returns on the employed resources.’ (

‘The Dutch government wants to ensure that Dutch companies engage in socially responsible business practices abroad. This means companies should take account of human rights, working conditions, and the environment in their operations.’ (

Tip: To learn more about CSR, and arguments in favor and against it, watch the video that is added below: ‘CSR, the what, why, and how. A debate about business and CSR’.

How to find a dilemma?

You are asked to think of a CSR -related topic that is or could be relevant to Zalando. Because you need to write an argumentative essay, the topic you choose should involve tension or a possible dilemma for the company.

To find a suitable CSR related theme for your individual 1000-word argumentative essay that is relevant for your chosen public company, do the following:

  1. Read the Annual Report of your chosen public company, and study their website. What do they write (or not) about CSR – related topics? What makes you curious? What do you miss? Which CSR- related dilemma could play a role in the company? Or, where do you see CSR opportunities for the company? What role could CSR play in the financial results of a business, in the investment advice, to which kind(s) of persona(s)? An aspect of CSR that you can (also) think of is human trafficking. The Law unit addresses this topic, and perhaps it applies to your public company.
  2. Check if the company has been in the news recently. Are there any news reports about topics that relate to the company’s CSR policies and practices? See for example the news reports added below, about Unilever, Postillion Hotels, C&A, and Ryanair.
  3. To form your opinion and ‘make your case, find and make use of academic research that has been done into CSR topics that you will address in your essay. Make use of keywords when you search. You must use at least 3 *academicsources. Academic sources are research journal articles and university textbooks. If you search for them in our library’s online databases, they will be free of charge in most cases. For help to find relevant academic sources, please go to our Course information & Learning materials on Blackboard.

Next to these 3 academic sources – so not instead of them-, other sources such as company sources or reliable (news) websites may be used.

* Research journal articles can be recognized by the setup: Abstract-Introduction-Method-Discussion-Conclusion.

How to write an argumentative essay about it?

Make sure you understand the nature of an argumentative essay. It is not an informative essay.  You argue against and in favor of a debatable thesis statement regarding your chosen theme in writing, and so try to convince the reader of your position. You use a consistent pattern of argumentation. Elements from year 1 debate skills that are further developed are:

– A-R-E: Assertion – Reasoning – Evidence

– The Refutation model, for example, Some opponents say that… Their argument is not valid because … (examples, evidence). Therefore … (conclusion).






Must be relevant to the task, and text must follow the instructions:

– Argumentative essay on one of the topics provided, based on original research of at least 3 academic sources; 1000 words. The accepted range is 950-1100 words.

– Statements are underpinned and argued clearly where necessary. Evidence and examples are given for support.

– Target reader is fully informed.



Communicative achievement (Conventions)



– Block pattern, point-by-point pattern, or an equally consistent pattern is used for argumentation for and against the statement. See Oshima and Hogue, 2014, Chapter 8.

– A clear and debatable (thesis) statement has been formulated.

– Opposing arguments are refuted and various aspects are addressed.


– The writer uses both in-text references and corresponding full references in the reference list, APA-style. *

– Paraphrases and summaries are made in their own words in their own sentences*.

*Suspicion of fraud and plagiarism is reported to the Exam Committee.


– Formal writing style.

– Clarity; Holding the target reader’s attention: the text is easy to follow.

– Logical layout appropriate for the content.

– Paragraphs are separated by a full blank line.

– No paragraph headings.





– The paper has a clearly recognizable structure (Introduction, body, conclusion).

– Unity: Paragraphs are ordered logically and have a topic sentence, core and conclusion.

– Cohesion: Linking words and transition phrases connect the sentences and paragraphs in a logical and natural way, and guide the reader in the argumentation.





– Concise style & formulation (e.g. no repetition and no wordiness, clear relationships, varied vocabulary)

– Grammar, spelling, and punctuation correct.

– Range and accuracy of vocabulary and grammar.