Group Term Paper Guidelines
The purpose of the term paper assignment is to let each group explore and analyze some real-world economic issues. Each group is required to choose a current economic issue and analyze it in terms of the economic concepts and tools you have learned in this class. The paper counts 20% toward your course grade.
Due Date: Please refer to the course syllabus for the due date. Late submissions will be penalized 10 points per day. Extensions may not be granted under normal circumstances.
Topic: Each group will select its own topic, which should be either a current micro-economic or macroeconomic issue that can be explained with the micro/macro theory we have discussed in this course. Choose something that interests you – it will make the paper easier to write. If you are unsure about a topic, please check with me.
External Articles: You are required to use at least three current sources except the textbook (published within the last three months). You may choose your sources from popular periodicals, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Economist or online sources, such as CNN.com, MSNBC.com, etc. These sources are available in the library and also on the Internet. You should not use external articles from online open-access reference sites such as Wikipedia, Investopedia, etc.
Paper Structure: The paper should be organized roughly in the following format:
1. Title page: List the paper title and the names of all group members (please refer to the specific format shown in the next page).
2. Introduction (about 1 page): State the topic and the importance of the topic. It is okay to exceed the 1 page limit by a little bit, but do not write a 2 page introduction.
3. Article summary (about 3 pages): Summarize the external articles you have selected.
4. Analysis (about 4-5 pages): Use economic theory to analyze the topic. This is the most important part of your paper.
5. Conclusion (about 1 page): State your conclusions.
6. References: List your external articles with a proper documentation style.
7. Graphs (attached at the end of the paper): You must include at least one graph relevant to your economic analysis. Acceptable economic graphs are supply-demand, AS-AD, etc. Time trends, bar graphs, etc. are not acceptable economic graphs.
8. External articles: If you used online sources, please provide the URL links in the References section, but if you used hardcopy sources, please attach scanned copies with your paper.
Overall, you should have a title page, 9-10 written pages of text, references, at least one economic graph, and URL/scanned copies of external articles. The paper must be double-spaced and typed in standard 10-12 point font with standard 1” margins. You should check the paper for typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors. Excessive errors will have a detrimental effect on your grade.
Plagiarism: Please note that the College is committed to preventing plagiarism (academic cheating), and as such plagiarism detection software will be used in this course. A large number of academic institutions use these software programs for the purpose of detecting and documenting plagiarism. These programs can compare submitted documents to an extensive database, which includes the worldwide web, professional and academic journals, and previously submitted student papers.
Please note that the University considers plagiarism a serious offense that is dealt with severe consequences. “Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism” (Source: http://www.plagiarism.org/). After researching the external sources, you should present the relevant ideas in your paper either in your own narratives or by citing the directly quoted materials. You should not, however, use too many long quotes to fill up your paper with cited materials. No more than 20% of your paper should consist of directly quoted materials, while the rest should be your own narratives.
In case there is evidence of plagiarism, the paper grade will be penalized appropriately. I understand that it will not be fair for everyone in a group to get penalized for plagiarism committed by an individual member. For that reason, I ask that your title page follow the format below to show which student has completed which section in the paper. If there is any section plagiarized, this format will help me identify the student who prepared that section, and take action against only that student and not against the whole group. If you don’t follow this format, I will assume that you are taking collective responsibility for the paper (i.e. in case of plagiarism, everyone will be penalized).
Name Sections Prepared
1. John Doe1 Introduction (p. 1), Conclusion (p. 10) & Graph
2. Jane Doe1 Article Summary – Paragraphs 1-6 (p. 2-4)
3. Jane Doe2 Analysis – Paragraphs 1-6 (p. 5-7)
4. John Doe2 Analysis – Paragraphs 7-12 (p. 7-9)
Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to check with me. Good luck with the paper.