This assignment is a short paper written in the style of a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal. Consult current issues of the Wall Street Journal for potential topics and to see how to present a brief and cogent argument (read several letters for reference). The letter should take and provide support for a position on an economic topic discussed in an article published in the Wall Street Journal during the two week period preceding the due date (March 27!!). The letter can be in response to another letter, an opinion piece or some current event issue. Maximum length is 300 words (approximately one page)
Remember, this is supposed to be a letter to the editor. As such, it should address an economic issue raised in previously published article in the WSJ.
1) Organizational structure – 25 points. Is the paper logically organized? Are ideas cogently presented and explained? Is the writing convincing? Does the writing sustain interest?
2) Writing style – 25 points. Is the writing original and provocative? Does the paper have a professional tone?
3) Analysis – 25 points. Does the paper take and support a position? Is the analysis reasonable? Not just your opinion!
4) Grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax – 25 points. Is the writing grammatically correct? Are words spelled correctly? Is word choice correct for the context of the sentence?
A Critical Analysis Primer:
All writing in this course involves critical analysis.
Critical analysis is used in economics to evaluate an argument or position in order to increase the reader’s understanding of it.
Both interpretation and evaluation are required in a critical analysis essay. Interpretation explains the issue. You must have a clear understanding of the issue before you begin to critically evaluate it. Evaluation gives you an opportunity to express your opinions about the issue and to justify your views.
Sample Outline of a Critical Analysis Essay
I. State your premise and provide background information to help your readers understand the nature of the issue you want to discuss.
A. If you are discussing a particular work, provide information about it.
1. Formal footnotes and bibliography are not necessary.
2. Give the Title of the article.
3. Give the Author.
4. Provide information about where the article can be found.
B. State the issue. If you are discussing a particular work, summarize the author’s position on the issue.
C. State your premise.
II. Provide evidence that supports your position.
A. Any or all of the following are acceptable
1. Theoretical propositions.
2. Empirical results.
3. Opinions of recognized authorities.
B. Anecdotal evidence can be used to illustrate a point but cannot be the sole evidence supporting your position.
III. Offer opposing evidence or alternative interpretations of the evidence.
IV. Summarize and conclude your argument.
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