Economics: The Research Paper

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Title Page (PAGE 1)

  • Running head (shortened version of tittle) appears top left (and on all subsequent pages), and page numbers appear top right
  • Full title (centered & double-spaced) appears around mid-page
  • Name (first, then last) appears after title, followed by: University of Victoria, your student number, ECON 225, and the date

Abstract and Keywords (PAGE 2)

  • The word “Abstract” appears, centered, above your abstract
  • Basically, your abstract is a one-paragraph summary of the highlights of your paper (i.e. your central argument, your main points and your findings)
  • List your keywords (important terms and ideas found in your paper) below your abstract

Introduction (PAGE 3)

  • Your introduction should present your topic right away and aim to capture the reader’s interest
  • You might start with an attention-grabbing, newsworthy, or historically significant fact
  • Next, you might describe the specific problem you are investigating in relation to your topic
  • By the end, be sure to articulate your main argument (thesis), and take a stance (no equivocating)

Short Literature Review (~PAGES 3-4)

  • Following the introduction, include brief paragraphs about your key sources (usually 2-3 sources)
  • These “mini paragraphs” mention the title and author reviewed, the author’s main argument or purpose, and how you will use this work in your own paper (generally conveyed in ~2 sentences)

Body Paragraphs (~PAGES 4-7)

  • Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence (what is this paragraph about?) and ends with a concluding sentence (wrapping up the paragraph’s main idea and/or transitioning to the next one)
  • Each body paragraph should also work toward convincing your reader that your argument is correct; this might mean providing evidence to support your argument, and/or it might mean addressing your opponent’s view (charitably) and explaining why your position remains correct nonetheless

Conclusion (~PAGE 7)

  • Generally, your conclusion reiterates your main argument and your key findings
  • Sometimes a conclusion will also suggest the greater purpose or significance of the paper (i.e. why should readers care about this issue?) or further research that could be done in the future

References (~PAGE 8)

  • Your references begin on a separate page, following the conclusion, and the word “References” appears, centered, above your list of sources
  • For Economics papers, students are usually instructed to follow the APA Style Guide

Appendix (optional) (~PAGE 9)

  • You may include tables/figures in a final page, labeled “Appendix,” after the references page
  • You should refer to tables/figures within your paper and cite & label them properly in the appendix

Adapted from: Ahmadi, B. & Hume, S.E. (Eds.). (2017). Wri$ng for Economics. Victoria: Open Leaf Press, 191-195 & 225-233.

*This handout was created by the CAC, not the ECON department; if in doubt, follow your professor’s instruc3ons rather than this handout.*