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ECN 120 Macroeconomics Iowa Central Community College Writing Assignment Position Paper “He who…
ECN 120 Macroeconomics
Iowa Central Community College
“He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.”
–John Stuart Mill, an early economist, in On Liberty (1859)
In about 1000 -1250 words, write a position paper that supports a particular point of view concerning a topic in macroeconomics. A list of possible topics appears below, but the paper may be constructed from topics raised in the course and unassigned readings in the text.
- Interest rates and monetary policy
- National productivity measurement: Is GDP the best metric?
- Inflation and its causes
- Reasons for unemployment
- Trade performance of the USA
- Factors leading to economic growth
- The housing market-will it ever recover?
- The free market economy versus government controlled economies
- Social control of business
- Measuring the cost of living
- Saving, investment, and the financial system
You may, and are in fact encouraged, to write on your own topic that you may have encountered briefly earlier in the text or course. Part of your paper involves doing research on the topic, and identifying strongly held positions on the opposite side of your own. You are expected to address at least two counterpoints, or objections, to your position. If you decide to choose your own topic in macroeconomics feel free to get early feedback from the instructor before you write.
OBJECTIVES: This assignment has three major objectives. The first is to increase your familiarity with an issue of economic policy and the arguments that surround that issue. The second is to increase your familiarity with sources of information. The third is to help you improve an important intellectual skill: writing a clear and convincing argument supported by reliable evidence.
ASSIGNMENT: Your job is to write a position paper of 1,000 to 1,250 words exclusive of title page, abstract, illustrations, notes, bibliography, appendices, etc. Your paper must deal with a matter of economic policy within the power of some officer, agency or institution of government.
Position Papers: Commonly known as a position paper, but also known as a “brief” in law, or a policy paper in politics, it is a written document that (1) recommends a particular course of action and (2) argues for the adoption of that position. A good position paper consists of a clear recommendation supported by strong arguments bolstered by unimpeachable evidence. A good position paper will be:
· Persuasive: You must state a conclusion and back that conclusion with reasoned argument. Your mission is to persuade the reader, the better the argument, the higher the probability of success.
· Well Researched: Your arguments must be firmly rooted in careful research. You must have a command of the relevant facts. You must understand your own position, the positions of those with whom you disagree, and the relationship of the facts to each.
· Concise: A good policy paper is not always brief, but it must be concise. That means no padding and no irrelevant inclusions. The typical audience for a position paper is a judge, a corporate executive, or a high government official. If your paper does not get to the point quickly and move the argument forward relentlessly, you are unlikely to get and hold the attention of your target audience. If you want to persuade a busy person, do not waste his time.
· Organized with the strongest point first.
· Appropriately Documented: Use one of the approved styles of documentation and follow it with care throughout your paper. Make clear when ideas are not your own and cite sources clearly to avoid any suggestion of plagiarism. Savvy Firefox users may find Zotero useful, as it organizes and exports data for you.
· Well Written: I will be looking for clear organization of the ideas and arguments; effective use of paragraphs, and subheadings if you like, to orient the reader; good transitions from one part of the text to the next; a conclusion that is both substantive and relevant; and sound grammar, punctuation, spelling and usage. The paper must be sent as an attachment to a commonly read format (doc, rtf, txt) with the course number in the title. Please do not send using .docx, the default setting on the latest Microsoft product.
Grading:200 Points possible
Grammar, organization, and style in Standard English: 35
Citing at least four important bits of data or evidence in support of position: 75
Anticipating at least two substantial counterpoints, or objections: 40
Responding to counterpoints with arguments: 30
Making documentation clear using a recognizable style, as appropriate: 20