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Being an Effective Economist


To be successful in the workforce and as an economist, you need to be able to critically evaluate economic arguments and convey your reasoning to a “general audience” in writing. The assignments in this class will help you develop these skills. You will need to demonstrate your ability to apply economic concepts and tools to different, more open- ended contexts. This also helps you learn to apply and to view events through the lens of economics.
This is an individual writing assignment. There will be two writing assignments for this course to give you practice and opportunities to get feedback on your writing. These are the general instructions for both assignments.
For both assignments, you are to write a 750 word critical analysis of an article. You will be graded on the quality and thoroughness of your analysis. Writing skills are essential to enable you to communicate your ideas to others. Therefore, you will also be graded on the clarity, flow and
overall cohesiveness of the writing in your paper. The rubric we shall use (the marks you can earn for each desirable skill demonstrated) is posted on the course website.
What does it mean to be critical in Economics?
Writing a critical analysis requires the following steps:

  1. Translating a written argument into a form that can be analyzed using the tools we have learned in class.
  2. Using economic tools to critically examine the argument being made. Analysis involves doing more than merely paraphrasing the textbook, class notes or using jargon. It involves the following:
    a. identifying the appropriate model or tool for the context;
    b. checking to see if the model’s underlying required assumptions are sufficiently satisfied; and 2 of 6 Pages
    ECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019
    c. identifying important differences between the model and the real-world context, and identifying how these differences affect qualitative and quantitative predictions.
  3. Comparing your analysis with the author’s arguments and articulating any differences or similarities in a precise manner.
  4. Translating all of this into clear language that readers can easily understand

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