The SWOT analysis is a commonly used method, primarily employed by people in the business field typically for a cost-benefit analysis. It is used to assess a particular method or product to see if it is viable and to see what alternatives can be adopted and/or changes can be made to improve the process or product. If the product does not meet the user’s expectations or requirements, they will not be interested in buying that specific product, so SWOT analysis helps businesses survive.
It can also be used prior to entering a market, or prior to introducing a new product and/or service in the market. The uses of SWOT analysis are not just limited to the business world, because it can also be used to evaluate and analyze your essay among other things.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The following figure helps illustrate the point:
As you can see, there are four sections; the pros and cons of both the product itself and the competition it may face. This method can be applied to anything where a feedback can improve the final product, including when writing an essay.
As an example, to help illustrate a specific point, let’s discuss an essay about developing career opportunities in the Middle East. Once all the required background information has been acquired about the topic, information can be placed in each category to help develop an essay, making it both easy to start and to help strengthen the argument, and to make it clear to avoid misunderstandings.
This category contains any useful information that supports and/or defends your point. In our examples, one strength is that there are many opportunities available in the Middle East to help develop various careers, as one would find anywhere else in the world. In general, you should have at least the same number of strengths as weaknesses and at least as strong of an argument.
These are the pitfalls or issues regarding your essay. For example: why should one stay in the Middle East to develop a career rather than, let’s say, England or North America?
When developing weaknesses, it can help provide some insight about how to improve your essay or debate. For example, for the above statement, one strong point is that there is lower cost and faster development time in the career one decides to choose in the Middle East as compared to elsewhere in the world.
This category can be thought as the message a reader can take away from the essay. In our example, we want the reader to understand how beneficial it would be for the person to stay in the Middle East to develop their career by reducing both time and money spent on their development.
For essays, this category contains information that can backfire against you including weak arguments that can be easily criticize or countered. In our example, one threat is that it may be easier to get in a particular industry in another country than the Middle East or another country may have more opportunities for a specific field.
By separating your information into these four categories, it becomes easier to both start and develop a sound essay by focusing on the “strengths” so the reader can take away your points in the “opportunities” while developing counter arguments to the “weaknesses” which reduce the “threat” of having the reader misunderstand or go against the purpose of your essay.