Writing Assignment Handout
Econ 4432W International Finance
University of Minnesota
Spring Semester – 2012
The main objective of writing a term paper is giving you the opportunity to:
1. Apply the analytical skills and intuition obtained in the class to examine an issue in which you have special interest.
2. Induce critical thinking on your part, which involves integrating what you are learning and real world economic issues.
3. Learn how to write a formal paper to be read by other economists.
The best way to get started is to begin by choosing a topic that interests you. You should then try to focus on a particular aspect of the topic you are considering and must ask specific questions that you think are important. The next step is to find suitable evidence, i.e., data and analytical tools, to explore the question at hand.
Your work must clearly state the question/problem you are trying to explain/solve and the methods in which you plan to do this. Also, note that mere reporting of facts is not enough. There must be some analytical/critical aspect in your paper, in which you give your own views and then validate those using logical and analytical tools.
The writing assignment includes revisions of drafts/proposals on which students receive feedback. It will consist of four parts. The first is a proposed topic, the second is an outline of the report, the third is a First Draft, and the fourth will be the Final Paper/Report. All writing assignments must be typed and turned in on the announced date in class. Only if you have a special circumstance and cannot make it to the class, you can ask my permission in advance to submit the assignment in an alternative way.
Along with each assignment, you are also required to submit the following:
• Past writing assignments. You must include all of your submitted writing materials along with all of the comments you received and your replies. Your assignment will not be graded otherwise.
• A typed response to the comments on the previous assignment. You must address these comments explicitly, and describe what you did about them. If you chose to ignore them, explain why.
• Assessment form. Print the appropriate form at the end of this handout, and attach it to the end of your assignment.
The first two bullets do not apply to the first assignment (topic). Please staple everything, with the latest assignment on the top.
Important: (Electronic submission) For the final draft only, you must send me an electronic copy of your paper. This should definitely include the main body of the paper and bibliography; it need not include appendices, graphs, tables, or data. Acceptable formats include MS-Word, PDF, and Word Perfect. Your electronic work will be scanned for plagiarism using University software tools. You should email me the final draft before class on its due date. Proof of my receiving your report will be my return mail acknowledging receipt. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Format and Structure
All writing assignments must be written in a professional style, and must have a similar format and structure with the economic publications in academic journals. They must be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double spaced. All pages, except the title page, must be numbered.
All assignments, except the first one, must have the following structure:
• Title page: A separate page with the title and the author’s name on it.
• Introduction: This section introduces what will be discussed in the main part. The main question(s) should be stated clearly in this section. The introduction also includes a description of the topic and its economic significance, a description of the methods of analysis, a summary of important conclusions and an overview of the composition of the paper. Keep the introduction brief in the outline. Mention the academic paper(s) you read in...
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