PAPER ASSIGNMENTS
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   Analyze an article from the media (can be newspaper, online, etc.). Briefly summarize the situation described in the article and then analyze the information using economic principles that we learned in class this semester. If there are mistakes in the article, please identify them. If there is a debate or a policy, discuss both sides of the issue and evaluate which side you believe is more convincing. You may use supply and demand figures if you believe that will clarify the analysis. you can
   Papers should be 2-3 pages long.
   Spelling, grammar and structure affect lend credibility and strength to your argument, and therefore, will be evaluated in your grade. 
   All papers should be double-spaced, with 11 or 12-point font, reasonable margins, and include page numbers.
   The topic can be anything as long as it involves issues that relate broadly to work we did in class--regulation, international trade, labor markets, public policy, health care, etc. If you have any questions about whether an article is suitable, please talk to me about it.
    At the end of the paper include a bibliographic citation to the article that you analyze. If it is online, please include the url.

SUGGESTIONS FOR WRITING 

John Cochrane's "Writing Tips for PhD Students" contains good suggestions even though this is not a dissertation.

Clarity:
    Do not leave hanging "this" and "that" phrases.
   Try to reduce the number of tenses that you use. Typically 1 or 2 tenses is sufficient.
   Use active voice not passive voice. Active voice makes the argument more concise and comprehensible.
   If possible, use a specific value (56.2%) rather than vague words like "very large", "huge", etc.

Argument/Evaluation:
    Get the facts right
    Both sides - costs and benefits
    Use "Believe", "argue", "contend", or "maintain" instead of "feel" 
    Can often eliminate "seems to" and "appears to"
    Discuss both sides of arguments--costs and benefits if you evaluate a policy.

More accurate
    Very general about some things. Watch use of buzzwords (efficiency)
    affect-effect
    their-there
    to-two-too
    principal-principle

More Concise
    Eliminate
        - “in order” - the industry must change "in order to" be more competitive. Can say the industry must change to be more competitive. Similar with "in order for".
        - "in an effort to regulate" -> "to regulate"
        - "is able" can be cut. "the firm is able to invest" -> "the firm invests"
 
        - "whether or not": Cut "or not" - it is implicit in the "whether".
        - “in fact”
        - "needless to say" "It is needless to say that the regulation imposes costs and benefits."
        - "in other words"
        - "that is"
        - "itself" "themselves" etc. "The government regulated the industry itself" Typically no need to repeat yourself.
        - "so as to" -> "to"
        - "actually" - can often be omitted.
        - phrases like "choose to", "decide to", "elect to" "opt to" and use the verb that follows
        - phrases like "appears" or "seems" sound ambivalent and can usually be cut
        - "I believe" or "I feel"--you are writing so it is obvious that this is what you believe if you are writing it.
        - "due to the fact that" can be written as "because".

        - Do not need "more and more and more" or "less and less and less" 

Other
    "which" is often used incorrectly for "that".


REFERENCES

Unpublished paper
     Freeman, Richard. 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths." National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper #3875.


Published Single-author paper
    Mustard, David B. 2001. "Racial, Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the US Federal Courts," The Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 44, no. 1: 285-314.

Published Multiple-author paper
    Nagin, Daniel and Joel Waldfogel. 1995. "The Effects of Criminality and Conviction on the Labor Market Status of Young British Offenders." International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 15 (January): 109-126.

Book
    Moore, Myra, and David B. Mustard. 2002. Test Bank for History of the American Economy. Southwestern, Mason, OH.

Website
    Engber, Daniel. "Markets vs. Exchanges: What's the Difference?" Slate Magazine, http://www.slate.com/id/2117171/. Accessed on April 22, 2005.