Short Essay #2:  Analyzing an Organizational or Corporate Narrative


Organizations and corporations tell stories. Being able to analyze these stories is an important skill regardless of your professional goals.

As citizens, we respond to these stories. They are used to sell us products, to encourage us to make changes in our lives and the lives of others, and to accomplish a myriad of other tasks.

As a professional, you might be asked to create these stories, to critique these stories, or to interpret these stories.

Companies and organizations tell their stories in a variety of ways.   It can be through advertising, through their annual report, through public relations releases, through social media, or through a combination of these and other methods.  

In this short essay, you will analyze how an organization or a company tells a story.  


Choose an organization or a company

  • associated with your career path or professional goals, OR
  • associated with your complex problem

If you choose an organization or company that is both, all the better. For example, a student with an interest in financial services might choose Navient and be exploring the complex problem of high student debt. You will be asked to identify the organization or corporation in a Canvas post.

Your short essay must analyze the narrative or story “told” by the organization or corporation.  Sometimes companies and organizations change their narrative.  For example, this was the case with “What is Our Story?” the article that talks about Philip Morris.  

Here are the questions that your essay must address: 

  • What is the “story” that the company is trying to tell?
  • Why are they trying to tell this story?
  • Who are the audiences for this story?
  • What resources does the company use to tell its story?  Keep in mind the resources we talked about as helping a company tell its story:  social media, press releases, advertisements, product endorsements, etc.  The strongest essays will draw on multiple resources.
  • Are there ways that the story might be misunderstood or understood differently than what the company intends?  How or why?  

Your essay must draw on the resources of this Module and previous Modules. Your essay must include multiple resources that the company or organization uses to tell its story. For example, you should not merely analyze a Web page or a social media post. In your second essay, you looked at one document or artifact; in this essay, you are considering multiple documents or artifacts.

TIP:  Use “screenshots” and links to highlight evidence for your observations and argument. Your essay should be multimodal. For example, if you are discussing a social media campaign that uses a youtube video, be sure to link to the youtube video in your essay.


  • Thoughtfully and thoroughly respond to the prompt
  • Draw from multiple resources provided through the Modules.
  • Use appropriate citation; MLA format is preferred, but APA is acceptable.   
  • Write at least 1000 words.
  • Proofread carefully.

Remember that your essay will be evaluated using the short essay rubric.  Be sure you have reviewed the rubric carefully.

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