Economics of Public Issues ISBN-13: 978-0134531984

Grammar and Writing Structure

Part 1: 500 words, due May 1-5, revision due May 10

Part 2: 300 words, due May 14

Campus AWR (Advanced writing requirement) classes are not meant to just contain a lot of writing, but also to try to improve writing proficiency.Here, you will be asked to study an issue of personal interest, and then constructive criticism will be given on grammar, style, and structure.Revision and resubmission will then follow.


The paper will be graded for grammar and writing structure, as well as improvements made.It is not possible to “teach” writing in one short class, but the more you exercise your ability to write, the more you will see an improvement in proficiency.Since your best writing is on subjects you have some knowledge of (or interest in), you will have a choice of subjects–each one a current, controversial issue for which there is a lot of information available.

II.Topics (chapter in parentheses) – Choose 1

The eligible issues listed (1/2/3/5) are constantly in the news and/or are discussed in the text (4).You can also send me an email with a proposal to study and write about another issue.There are some references to get you started.It is preferable in most cases to look for professional “academic” articles from academic journals.They may be harder to read, but one good academic article is usually worth about 10 newspaper articles. You’re quality of writing will be directly related to how many ideas you have gathered to talk about.

1.Should amateur college athletes be paid?

Search on the college library site “EBSCO” for “Paying College Athletes” and you’ll see “The Case for Paying College Athletes,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 29(1), Winter 2015.

2.Is there wage discrimination between men and women (12)?

In this case go to and read the 70+ reviews of “Why Men Earn More” by Warren Farrell.

3.Should there be a minimum wage (13)?If so, how should it work, and for whom?

Find “The Truth About the Minimum Wage: Neither Job Killer nor Cure-All” by Alan Manning, Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2018.

4.Is there economic justification for rent control (10)?This is a big issue to the 75% of the population that lives in urbanized areas.In this case the following websites provide a lot of information:

5.Benefits/cost of college and student debt.

There are many different aspects to this issue.You could focus on just costs: i.e. Why college has become so expensive?Or, the benefits/costs to students: i.e. Are college students being taken advantage of?Is the college degree worth incurring all that debt?Or, there is the newer issue of whether tuition should be free?(Note: the state of NY recently passed legislation for free tuition).The journal article listed below is an excellent summary of the benefits and costs.

Journal articles

Click to access ci20-3.pdf

“Are College Costs Worth It,” Douglas Webber, Economics of Education Review 53 (2016)


III.Instructions and writing

–Submit a Word file to the dropbox using spacing of 1.5.It will probably end up being about 2-3 pages plus any references.

–For citations you don’t need to make page citations, just a general citation(s) at the end to list your sources (Title, source, date, issue of pub).

–Try to take a position, i.e. college athletes should (or should not) be paid, there should (or should not) be rent control, there is (or is not) wage discrimination, etc.

–If you are undecided then that is your position, but let the reader know why.

–An introduction may or may not give away your position right away; or you could wait until the last paragraph.

–The length should be within 20 words of 500.Part of the challenge in writing is often to say as much as you can in only a short amount of space.

–You should always have a specific type of audience in mind.In this case it will be a general audience with perhaps a general knowledge of basic economics and some awareness of current events.

–Look for opportunities to supply some key hard data-facts where appropriate.

–For most of these issues (1,3,4,5) you can boil them down to a matter of benefits and costs.Issue 2 on possible wage discrimination is more factual, with basic data that stands on its own.

–Each paragraph should contain a basic central focus.Usually you start out speaking in general terms in the beginning of a paper and then develop separate points in the following paragraphs.It is probably better here to have many short paragraphs rather that a few long paragraphs.

–Try to vary your punctuation.For example, it is fairly easy to use ?? marks: i.e. instead of saying “$50K is too expensive for college” you might say “Do you really think a college education is worth 50K per year?Or, instead of “College athletes should be paid for their efforts?” how about “Don’t you think college athletes should be allowed their just compensation for all their efforts?”

–Don’t confuse feelings with facts.You’re writing an article to convince or inform the general population.They probably don’t care about what your feelings are; instead let the facts speak for themselves.Beliefs are a little bit different, neither feelings nor facts, but a kind of informed preference.

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