For those of you that have competed in DECA’s prepared events, you know that writing a quality paper, coupled with delivering a presentation, can be hard and tedious work. However, breaking it up into smaller elements can help with time management and allow you to write a better paper.
If you have not had the experience of writing a paper, do not be discouraged! In fact, it is one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the realm of DECA competitive events and gives you great exposure to different aspects of the business field. In comparison to role-play events, written events give you more time to research and understand the background of the problem you are trying to solve.
Each year for Business Operations Research events, DECA releases a prompt that pertains to a business. These prompts can be found on deca.org. Writing these papers should be heavily based on the prompt and the problem it is trying to address. The best way to incorporate both feasible and financially-affordable techniques is to do research about what other companies in the industry are doing. It is important to remember that you are pitching your proposed plan of action to the judge, who has a large stake in the business.
For papers like international or independent business plan, providing a comprehensive overview of the business model in the executive summary is key. One of the worst things that can happen is spending months working on a paper, but the judge doesn’t know what problem you are trying to solve. Franchise papers work in a similar fashion. While the franchise you are trying to expand might be familiar, it is very important to dive into the why before the how.
Other types of DECA papers, such as startup business plan or integrated marketing campaigns, are situationally based on the message that you are trying to convey. Graphics are always an important part of delivering a greater message, and the aesthetic of a paper can be the difference between qualifying or not.
DECA written events offer a wide variety of experiences and writing them can be grueling, but I guarantee that you learn a lot!