The purpose of this handout is to indicate more completely exactly what I expect in your paper. The minimum requirements for the paper are laid out below. You should use this handout (along with the handout on the outline) as a guide to determine if you have met these minimum requirements. These requirements must be met if you expect to receive a passing grade on the paper. In addition, the paper will be graded as to its content.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PAPER
I. Paper Length. My experience is that students cannot do justice to their topic in less than 8 typed, double-spaced pages (excluding the bibliography and notes.) Likewise, you should be able to cover the topic adequately in 20 pages or less.
II. Paper Grammar and Writing. I do not generally read the papers specifically for correct grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure. You should understand, however, that writing matters tremendously in your grade. If you write poorly, you will get a poor grade not because of the writing per se but because I (the reader) will not understand what you mean. The Writing Center can provide valuable service to students who are struggling with writing the paper. They are there to help you with these aspects of the paper. They will not (and probably cannot) help with the paper's content.
III. Paper Presentation. You must turn in your paper in a form that is readable. The paper must be typed (or printed). I do not care if you use a dot matrix printer as long as the type can be easily read. The paper must be double spaced with all notes included after the bibliography. You should keep a copy for yourself as I will keep the copy you hand in to me. If you want comments on the paper from me, you must turn in TWO copies of the paper.
IV. Recall that you are to do your research paper on a synthesis of research already done on a particular topic.
V. Each paper will require:
Introduction. You must clearly indicate why the topic is interesting and identify the main points to be covered in the paper.
- Literature Review. Since this type of paper is mostly about previous research, the literature review needs to be fairly comprehensive both in the number of researchers you refer to and in the depth in which they are discussed.
Synthesis. In this section, you need to identify the major conclusions in the literature. You may want to break the paper up into sections which cover each of the major camps in the literature instead of into a literature review and synthesis section. You are allowed flexibility in making this decision. The synthesis should include some economic analysis using simply economic tools (e.g., Supply and Demand, Cost Benefit Analysis, Indifference Curve Analysis, etc.)
Conclusion. You should give a brief summation of the results of the paper. Pay special attention to the following questions. Why is the topic interesting? What are the major conclusions of the paper? How do your conclusions vary from others in the literature? What questions remain unanswered and would therefore serve as a basis for future research?
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