4.2 Focus on the language of SWOT analysis
Next, you will look more closely at some of the language used in Natalie’s analysis.
Some of the phrases used in the Fat Face case study in the previous section that talk about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are listed below. Without looking back at the text, decide which category each phrase belongs to and drag them to the appropriate column. There are four phrases to go in each category.
Remember: there should be four under each heading.
Read Natalie’s SWOT analysis again and note down any further words and phrases that may be useful for when you write your own SWOT analysis later in this course. Your notes might include new vocabulary (make sure you check definitions in a business dictionary such as) or useful phrases for showing analysis, e.g. for expressing a viewpoint, making recommendations or describing cause and effect (i.e. why something is the way it is).
You will have made your own choices for this activity. Here is a list of language which is useful for expressing analysis. Remember that the process of analysis includes:
- breaking down a situation in order to understand it better, often supported by a framework, e.g. SWOT
- weighing up the relative importance of the facts
- identifying cause and effect
- selecting the most relevant information
- shaping and organising relevant information
- evaluating and recommending.
Useful language for writing a SWOT analysis
Useful language used to express a viewpoint based on evidence:
- It is apparent that …
- It is clear that …
- These strengths work together to produce …
- Lastly, a major advantage over the competition is that …
Useful language for making recommendations:
- the business has to address …
- … is a priority
- there needs to be …
- the aim of this recommendation would be …
- by … , the company will …
Useful language of cause and effect from paragraph on strengths:
- The high quality of products has led to a very strong customer base
- As a result of recently updated software systems, … , customers are able to purchase items which may not be in stock in that particular store
- The benefit of having a low staff turnover means that operations … can be processed quickly and efficiently as staff knowledge … is extensive.
A note on referencing
You will have seen that Natalie has written a list of references at the end of her text, which link to in-text references. This is because her text is an academic assignment for a university course. When writing at university you are required to list any sources you use for your assignment (usually texts that you read) at the end of your text. This shows the tutor where your information comes from. You are also required to include in-text references, which show precisely which pieces of information in your text come from where. Here is one example from Natalie’s report:
- The company has introduced a ‘vision and values’ concept (Fat Face, 2013), …
- Fat Face (2013) All About Fat Face [Online]. Available at http://www.fatfacecorporate.com/ about-us/ vision-and-values.aspx (Accessed 14 August 2013).
You will see that the in-text reference includes the name of the organisation and the date, while the end-of-text reference includes the full information for finding the source. Usually an in-text reference will include the author’s name; however, when there is no specified author, the name of the organisation can be used.