ECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019 ECONOMICS 200

1 of 6 PagesECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019ECONOMICS 2002018-2019Writing Assignments: The Critical AnalysisGeneral InstructionsRead These Instructions Carefully and Fully!________________________________________________________________________DUE DATES
Assignment 1
Fri, 7 December 2018
5:00 pm
Assignment 2
Fri, 29 March 2019
5:00 pm
PURPOSETo be successful in the workforce and as an economist, you need to be able to critically evaluateeconomic arguments and convey your reasoning to a “general audience” in writing. Theassignments in this class will help you develop these skills. You will need to demonstrate yourability to apply economic concepts and tools to different, more open- ended contexts. This alsohelps you learn to apply and to view events through the lens of economics.TASKThis is an individual writing assignment. There will be two writing assignments for this course togive you practice and opportunities to get feedback on your writing. These are the generalinstructions for both assignments.For both assignments, you are to write a750 word critical analysis of an article. You will be gradedon the quality and thoroughness of your analysis. Writing skills are essential to enable you tocommunicate your ideas to others. Therefore, you will also be graded on the clarity, flow andoverall cohesiveness of the writing in your paper. The rubric we shall use (the marks you can earnfor 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 havelearned in class.2. Using economic tools to critically examine the argument being made.Analysis involvesdoing more than merely paraphrasing the textbook, class notes or using jargon.Itinvolves the following:a. identifying the appropriate model or tool for the context;b. checking to see if the model’s underlying required assumptions are sufficientlysatisfied; and2 of 6 PagesECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019c. identifying important differences between the model and the real-world context,and identifying how these differences affect qualitative and quantitativepredictions.3. Comparing your analysis with the author’s arguments and articulating any differences orsimilarities in a precise manner.4. Translating all of this into clear language that readers can easily understand.N.B. The Critical Analysis is NOT a research paper per se. While you may find it helpful toconsult outside resources, it is not necessary to do so, and it is entirely possible to earn full markswithout doing so.The primary metric upon which we judge your analysis is your ability tothoughtfully apply ECO200 tools in analyzing the real-world applications.ORGANIZATION, STRUCTURE and FORMATHow to structure your assignment1. Introduction: Set up a thesis statement in which you briefly identify and summarize thepoint(s) you will make.2. Main body: The next part should provide your analysis of the article’s argument(s). Youranalysis should use economic concepts you have learned in class.Remember, narrow your focus so that your analysis can be more in-depth. Indepth analysis is much more important than hitting every point made in thearticle.3. Conclusion: Briefly draw the evaluation together in a short concluding paragraph.NOTE: Any references you cite should be identified and listed at the end of the paper. They donot count toward the word limit. The article to analyzemust be included in your reference list.LengthYour assignment should have a maximum of 750 words (excluding the title page and thereference list). Given the required format below, 750 words is approximately three pages.As 750 words is not a lot, you need to seriously limit the space you devote to summarizing thearticle. You should assume that your reader has read the article, even if she has not (yet)critically thought about it.Appropriate AudienceYou are writing for the general reading population. This means you will need to explain yourarguments in a way that someone who has some understanding of basic economic concepts, butnot detailed knowledge, can understand it.A good guideline: assume a reader who has taken ECO100 a few years ago. She will understandbasic ECO101 Micro concepts, but will have certainly forgotten most of the subtleties and manyof the implications.3 of 6 PagesECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019How to format your assignmentTo earn full marks, you must do the following: Your assignment must be typed, double-spaced and have a font size of at least 12 pointsin Times New Roman. Put the word count of your assignment in parentheses at the end. For example, “(750words)” The title page should have your full name, student id number and the class information(i.e., ECO200, FW 2017-2018). The file you submit must be a PDF document. Files must be named FamilyName_GivenName_ECO200_1 for the first assignment andFamilyName _ GivenName _ECO200_2 for the second assignment, where FamilyNameis your family name and GivenName is your given name.If you fail to follow the instructions regarding the format of your assignment, there will bedeductions. See PENALTIES below for more details.LOGISTICS Submit each assignment online to Quercus. To submit your assignment, follow these instructionso In “Assignments” click the item titled “Writing Assignment” to submitassignment #1. For Writing Assignment #2, click the item “Writing Assignment2”.o Follow the file naming guidelines above.o Uploaded files should not include special characters in the file name for example,# ! % ?. Do not attach multiple files with the same name. Your assignment will be graded according to a Rubric. The Rubric will be posted in theWriting Assignments folder in the “Files” section of the Quercus webpage.CRITICAL ANALYSIS We are looking for a critical analysis. Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make issubmitting a writing assignment that is largely a summary of the assigned article. Depth is preferred to breadth. The student providing a strong analysis of two relevantpoints will earn much higher marks than the student identifying a number of pointswithout fully analyzing any of them.1 We define critical rather broadly. It is certainly possible to write an excellent criticalanalysis in which you agree with the author of the article. Likewise, you should not feelshy about disagreeing with an author. In either case, the strength of your analysis willdepend on your ability to thoughtfully apply ECO200 tools.1 In preparing your analysis, we hope you identify a number of points you can make. We understand that it can bedifficult to leave out a point you have spent time thinking about and developing. If you find yourself in thissituation, please consider something along the following lines: “While the author’s argument certainly does rely onassumingX, in this analysis I focus on Y and Z, and argue that . . .”4 of 6 PagesECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019 You must submit your assignment through the Quercus website. See above for logisticsof how to do so.Don’t be late – there are penalties!Getting Started To evaluate the article, you need to first understand the author’s arguments. Start byidentifying the assumptions inherent in the argument, checking to see if the conclusionsfollow from these assumptions. Try to distinguish the argument from the evidenceprovided to support the argument. To do critical evaluation, essentially you should take apart the various steps in theargument and see if they make sense separately and as a whole. Can you use the toolslearned in class to think about the argument in another way? Check to see if the author ismissing anything in her argument or has used some tool or method incorrectly orinappropriately. Is there evidence that contradicts the author’s argument?Refer to theChicago Manual of Style for advice on how to write up your references. It isavailable at You will receive a 10 percentage point penalty (5 marks)2 for submitting an assignmentafter the deadline, and an additional 10 percentage point penalty assessed every 24 hours.For example:o An assignment submitted at 5:00:13 PM (thirteen seconds after 5:00 PM) on thedue date will receive a 10 percentage point penalty.o An assignment submitted 25 hours late will receive a 20 percentage point penalty. No extensions will be granted under any circumstance (e.g., illness, computer problems,etc.). We will deduct 1 mark (2%) if you fail to show the word count, exceed the word count,submit an unacceptable file format (other than PDF), use an improper file name, choosethe wrong font, etc. For each additional failure, we will deduct 2 marks (4%). For example, 3 breaches willincur a penalty of 1 + 2 + 2 = 5 marks (10%). Be aware that there is no cap on the total penalty.In sum, be careful; don’t lose marks for inattention to these requirements!ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND TURNITIN.COMThe Department of Economics takes incidents of plagiarism very seriously and prosecutes themvigorously. Not knowing what constitutes plagiarism is not a defense.2 Your WA will be graded out of 50 marks, according to a Grading Rubric. The Rubric has been posted in aseparate document.5 of 6 PagesECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019The University policy on academic integrity can be found where you will find details about what constitutesplagiarism and how to avoid it.The University disclaimer on follows:“Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to for areview of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students willallow their essays to be included as source documents in the referencedatabase, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The termsthat apply to the University’s use of the service are described on web site.”You are free to refuse to submit your work through You must so declare by thedate shown in the course syllabus. If you decide that you do not feel comfortable using the site,you must then make special arrangements with your instructor no later than two weeks before theassignment’s due date. We will ask you to submit all your rough work, including notes and draftversions of your assignment. You may also be requested to meet with a TA or the instructor todiscuss your paper.WRITING TUTORIALSPrior to each assignment’s submission date, there will be a writing tutorial. (Times and locationsfor each section of ECO 200 will be announced in lecture and on the course website.)In the first tutorial, you will participate in exercises structured to give you practice in criticalanalysis. In the second tutorial, it is likely you will analyze a WA#1 submission to assess itsstrengths and weaknesses. You can earn up to 2 marks (4%) in your writing assignment byattending, participating and completing the writing tutorial’s activity.WRITING TIPSSome essential writing tips3: Use simple, clear language. Avoid metaphors, flowery speech4 or jargon. Do not use the passive voice (The box was held by John) when the active voice is anoption (John held the box). Keep your sentences short. Make sure your paragraphs are self-contained and coherent: put only one main idea ineach paragraph. Avoid too long (more than 1/3 of a page) or too short (one or twosentences only) paragraphs. Make your main point early on, and make sure that everything you write serves tosupport your main point (even your counter-arguments serve to support your main point).3 From Jessie Lamontagne and Andrea Williams.4 For example: “Since the dawn of time, economists have contemplated . . .”6 of 6 PagesECO200: WA Instructions: FW 2018-2019 Support each argument with evidence, such as a statistic, example or economicreasoning. Make clear the economic concepts and reasoning on which your argument is based. Be respectful of arguments that differ from yours: you can be critical without dismissingthe work of others. Consider your audience. Use everyday words, define more technical terms, and avoidjargon.Another resource isThe Economist Style Guide, available at ASSISTANCEHere are some great resources for getting assistance on the writing assignments. See the course webpage in the Writing Assignments folder for information on WAtutorials and assistance prior to the deadline for each WA. Each college has a writing centre. You can book an appointment at The teaching approachof these centres is described at For those students whose first language in not English, the English Language Learningprogram (ELL) at is an awesomeresource. Check to see what is available this Fall; there will certainly be offerings foryou to consider for the F/W semester when you will likely face other writingassignments. Other resources are accessible from this site. More than 60 Advice files on all aspects of academic writing are available Note in particular “How Not to Plagiarize” and other advice on documentationformat and methods of integrating sources; these are listed in the section

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