Coursework Essay

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Writing a coursework essay – notes for undergraduate economics students Things to remember: 1. Answer the question. If the essay title is “What caused the ERM crisis of 1992/3?” a description of the Sterling Crisis of 1949, although it may be interesting and even instructive about fixed exchange rate regimes, does not answer the particular question asked. 2. Write in sentences and paragraphs, with correct spellings and grammar. Sloppy mistakes in spellings and grammar suggest to the reader a general sloppiness of thought. On the other hand, disciplined self-expression in grammatical terms can improve the exactness and clarity with which our ideas are expressed. Hieroglyphics (e.g. g↑⇒ r↑) may be a useful way of summarising a chain of argument, but you still need to make the argument verbally. If you use equations (or if you feel you must use hieroglyphics), always explain your symbols. 3. Meet and stick to the word limit. Do not imagine you will get higher marks by over-shooting the word limit with extensive irrelevant material. Within the word limit, write as much as necessary to make the point clearly. 4. Assume that the reader is intelligent, but ignorant of the material taught in your course. However, avoid lengthy derivations of results that are not central to your argument, and do not repeat yourself unnecessarily. For example, if you have explained the operation of the multiplier once you probably do not need to explain it again for a change in the opposite direction. Simply refer back to your earlier discussion. It is in cases like this where you make use of a mechanism or chain of argument that you have already explained, that hieroglyphics can provide a useful summary to highlight the specific case to which you are now referring. 5. Structure the essay. Begin the essay with an introductory paragraph saying how you interpret the

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