|Examples |Assessments | |Essay 1: Economist’s Jargon: Unite and Divide |Essay 1: Economist’s Jargon: Unite and Divide | |Essay 2: No Title |Essay 2: No Title | |Essay 3: The Heisenberg Principle and Economics |Essay 3: The Heisenberg Principle and Economics | |Essay 4: The Difference between Physics and Economics |Essay 4: The Difference between Physics and Economics | |Essay 5: Consuming Less Rationally |Essay 5: Consuming Less Rationally | |Essay 6: Consuming Less Rationally |Essay 6: Consuming Less Rationally |
To give you a sense of what is acceptable writing and what is unacceptable writing, here we present six essays. These essays are possible student answers to three assignments which are similar to assignments you might receive in class. Essays 1 and 2 deal with the following question: Professions have a tendency to develop a separate terminology that only members can follow. One reason for doing so might be described as society-serving and another might be described as self-serving. In a short essay discusses which of these two reasons do you think is more important in the case of economic jargon. Essays 3 and 4 deal with the following question:
The Heisenberg principle states that there is a limit to our knowledge of reality because as we study certain physical phenomena we change them. Might a Heisenberg-type principle be relevant to economics? Write a short essay explaining why or why not. Essays 5 and 6 are responses to the following:
In a Wall Street Journal article, a woman named Ms. Luhrs is quoted as saying, “If you’re continually consuming, you have to keep working, you can’t get off the treadmill.” Write a short essay explaining whether this a rational statement. After presenting all six essays we grade them and provide a brief overall assessment of the essays. We also provide some specific comments about what we liked and what we didn’t like. When you read our comments, think about the process of grading. That process has, by its nature, both an objective and a subjective element to it. The objective element of grading is the easiest. The objective part of the grade is based on considerations such as: Does the essay answer the question posed? Are the grammar, formatting, spelling, and standard elements of style up to speed? There is no debate about these relatively objective issues. For example, if you don’t answer the question you’re supposed to, you probably won’t do well on the essay. And if your paper has many grammatical mistakes, you’re in trouble. The subjective element of grading works like a wild card in the grading process. Usually, there are many ways a question can be answered. Some ways will strike a chord with your reader; some won’t. The same is true with discretionary elements of style. Some professors may like your style; some won’t. For example, Colander, the guy who wrote your textbook, has a very informal, matter of fact, style. His style turns off a number of economics professors. Some of these consider his work abominable because of that style; they assign his book nonetheless, because, on objective grounds, it is a great book. (That’s a Colander ironic stylism, in case you were wondering.) And still others, we’re happy to say, like his style. (If they didn’t the book wouldn’t sell, and the Colander text would be eliminated from...