Introduction to writing an undergraduate economics research paper by Tanveer Reza Rouf

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This is a very simple introduction to undergraduate economics majors on how to write an effective research paper.

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Introduction to writing an undergraduate economics research paper by Tanveer Reza Rouf

  1. 1. Economics: Research PAPER ECO 242ECO 242 Spring 2013Spring 2013 Tanveer Reza Rouf
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  6. 6. What is a research paper?  Basically: tries to find answer to a question!!!  As Simple as that!As Simple as that!  But, we do it in a structured way!But, we do it in a structured way!  We ask a RESEARCH QUESTION and throughWe ask a RESEARCH QUESTION and through analysis of the DATA, we try and ANSWER thatanalysis of the DATA, we try and ANSWER that question!question! 6
  7. 7. Examples of Research questions  Why is the unemployment rate going up in Bhutan?  Does more education lead to higher earnings in Bhutan?  What are the effects of tax policy on work-leisure balance in Bhutan?  Does the tax policy encourage people to get married in Bhutan?  What sectors provide the most to GDP in Bhutan?  Will the current GDP growth rate be maintained in the next ten years? 7
  8. 8. Structure of a Research Paper  Introduction  Literature review  Data  Methodology  Analysis  Results  Conclusion 8
  9. 9. Steps towards writing a Research Paper  Form your groups  Brainstorm on research question – should not be too difficult (stay within the limits of the course)  Identify research question  Write blocks of paper over three months  Submit stuff on time- stick to deadlines  Present updates to class  Revise all drafts and submit a final draft 9
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  12. 12. Step-1: Brainstorming for research Topics/Ideas* 12 *www.umflint.edu/library/research/selecttopic.htm  Brainstorming for topics/ideas:  Answer the following questions as HONESTLY as possible (you must submit this class work to me): Do you have a strong opinion on a current social or political controversy? Did you read or see a news story recently that has attracted your interest or made you angry or anxious? Do you have a personal issue, problem or interest that you would like to know more about? Is there an aspect of macroeconomics that you are interested in learning more about?
  13. 13. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question* 13 *www.umflint.edu/library/research/selecttopic.htm  Read general background information: www.google.com www.wikipedia.org Ask Cathy at LIBRARY
  14. 14. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question*  Form your groups and sit with them  Please send me an email with the names, IDs and email addresses of all your group mates  Write down the names in the sign-up sheet  Think of economic issues of today’s time-what did you read in the newspapers (when was the last time you read one? ;)  NARROW down ISSUE from BROAD TOPIC!!! (A BIG CHALLENGE!)  Brainstorm on research question – should not be too difficult (stay within the limits of the course)  Develop a research question PROBLEM ORIENTED and INTERESTING and FEASIBLE 14 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  15. 15. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question* 15 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  16. 16. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question* 16 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  17. 17. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question* 17 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  18. 18. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question* 18 *www.umflint.edu/library/research/selecttopic.htm  Focus on your topic: Keep it manageable (i.e. limited) by:  Geographical area BHUTAN only OR even more limited (urban versus rural, one Dzongkhag, East versus West)  Culture, time frame and discipline: Bhutan, in the last 10 years, broad social science and/or economics  Population group: adults, children, senior citizens, etc #AVOID: too local confinement, too recent and too popular stuff  HARD to research!
  19. 19. Step-2: Brainstorming for research question* 19 *www.umflint.edu/library/research/selecttopic.htm  Make a list of useful keywords  Be flexible  Define your topic as a focused research question (IDEASRESEARCH QUESTIONFOCUSSED RESEARCH QUESTION)  Read more about your topic  Formulate a thesis statement
  20. 20. Step-3: Literature Review*  Undertake search for work done on the same topic before you  GOOGLE (general),  ECONLIT and GOOGLE SCHOLAR (SPECIFICALLY ACADEMIC)  NON-ACADEMIC SOURCES (NEWSPAPERS, etc)  Summarize work done before you  Sell your research  convince us WHY YOUR RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE!!??  HOW WILL IT ADD TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE TOPICS??  Identify an area of potential contribution 20 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  21. 21. Step-4: Data Sources*  Find data that will help you answer your question  Data can be secondary or primary  Online sources of data  Offline sources of data from interviews, etc  Or, collect your own data (time consuming!!)  How to store the data properly?  EXCEL 21 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  22. 22. Step-5: Data Analysis and Results*  What methods you will use to analyze the data??  What software to use?  EXCEL OR SPSS OR STATA  What sort of reasoning are you using and WHY??  Describe your results 22 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007
  23. 23. Step-6: Conclusion*  Critically engage with your research question’s answer!!  Does the evidence answer the question?  How does it compare to other people’s answers in the literature?  Is there an alternative explanation?  What questions remain unanswered?  Are there any policy implications?? 23 *McGoldrick, KimMarie. Undergraduate research in economics. Economics Network, 2007

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