University of California, Davis
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Some Suggestions for Writing the Optional Class Paper
Due Date: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 5 p.m. (Late papers lose 10%/day in grade.) The purpose of the paper: This provides an alternative way for you to demonstrate your understanding of the tools of economic analysis covered in this course, as applied to a contemporary public policy issue involving market power or other topics related to the course. The topic is of your choosing, but choose something of interest to you! If you are analyzing a subject about which you are interested and enthusiastic, this will show through in the product you prepare and in the impression it will make on the reviewer.
The key elements are that you: (a) demonstrate familiarity with one or more concepts learned in this course; (b) focus your analysis on a real-life issue or problem; (c) use the Internet for part or all of the research materials used; and (d) produce a paper that employs sound reasoning and analysis, and is well-written and presented.
Use of the Web for Research Materials
The Internet is an exceptionally rich and convenient source of information, reports, data, and descriptions of environmental problems and policies. I have posted a few links on the class Web site for several media coverage and reports by public agencies dealing with market power, antitrust, and other course topics. You should have at least one Web reference for material used in your paper, and good papers will have several or many.
Considerations in Preparing Your Paper
Your paper, if done well, can serve purposes beyond the class itself. Many employers like to see samples of job candidates' writing and research skills, and this paper is an opportunity to prepare just such an example of your work. A paper involving data analysis can be especially impressive. Plus, if you write a really good paper, it may end up being one of...
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