Guidelines for critical review essays:
Write a critical review of a current news article published in a mainstream news publication (i.e. the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal) in 2020. Articles must either address or illustrate one of the themes of economics already covered by the course texts and class lectures.
Type of Article: You must choose a current event news article with an identified author or authors (i.e. it should say by: someone’s name). Op-ed pieces and recurring columns are fair game, editorials are not. Your article must demonstrably make use of economic concepts or methods that we have covered in class. You must include a copy or link to the article with your paper.
Length: This paper should be 2-3 pages (which is 500-700 words).
Writing style and formatting: You will be graded on the content of your paper NOT the quality of your writing. You will not lose points for grammar or writing mistakes. You are only graded on how well you do the economic analysis.
Audience: The essay should be written to a general audience of readers rather than to other members of our class. This means that you will need to provide details regarding the article and you will need to make your observations with reference to economic theory rather than to any particular examples from our class. For example, you won’t be able to refer to in-class experiments to buttress your position.
Evidence: No evidence beyond what you derive from the article and the textbook are necessary. If you absolutely can’t resist including outside sources, please cite correctly.
Your article review should include the following components. You don’t have to answer each question directly, but this is to give you guidance on what to think about and they types of things to include in each paragraph/section.
Introduction: Identify your target article (author, title, date of publication, newspaper name), introduce it briefly; indicate the economics insight or concept that you will consider.
Article summary: What does the author do? What evidence is offered? What method of analysis is employed? What conclusions are drawn? What claims of significance are, if any, offered? Is any critical information left out or presented in a way to lead readers to a particular conclusion?
Economic Application: In what way does the author draw upon a construct, method, or insight from the microeconomics you have been studying? In this paragraph, for example, you might explain the way in which an author makes use of the insights of rational choice to explain voting behavior, or the construct of diminishing marginal utility to explain consumption patterns.
Critique: How well does the author employ economic constructs or methods? Using evidence and your present knowledge of economics, illustrate what is gained or what opportunities are missed. Present your central critique (which does not require criticism – see me if you need clarification).
Evaluation Rubric for the Article Review Papers
Here is what I will be looking at when I grade these extra credit papers:
Was the article chosen related to the course content?
Did the analysis and critique reflect deep understanding of the theory/content?
Can the paper be understood by a general audience?
Were there errors made in applying economic theory?
Were the economic theories chosen simple or complex?
Did the paper only apply one simple theory vs multiple theories or complex theories?
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