Analyze and critically evaluate an economic podcast.

Question details:

Task

There will be one writing assignment in this course to give you practice and opportunities to get feedback on your writing.  This is an individual writing assignment. 

For this writing assignment, you will be given an economic podcast and will be asked to critically evaluate it.  You will be graded on the quality and thoroughness of your analysis.  Therefore, you will also be graded on the clarity, flow and overall cohesiveness of the writing in your paper. 

Podcast:

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/uber-economists-dream/ (Links to an external site.)

 

Paper Outline

 Introduction (5 points):  The introduction (first paragraph) briefly summarizes what you consider to be the main point(s) of the article.  If there are many, focus on the one(s) that you will analyze in the assignment.

Summary (5 points):  A short summary of the podcast should be included.  This summary should capture the key points presented in the article and any important facts or elements.  Do not spend the whole assignment summarizing the entire podcast.  Summaries should be succinct and to the point and be approximately one paragraph. 

Analysis (15 points):  Your analysis should use economic concepts you have learnt in class.  In other words, analysis should focus on how topics covered in class are applicable/relevant to the real world.   Be sure to demonstrate your analysis using graphs and/or models learned in class.  Be careful to address the appropriate audience.  Remember; narrow your focus so that your analysis can be more in-depth.  That is much more important than hitting every point made in the podcast. 

Critical Evaluation (20 points):  This is the most important aspect of this assignment. 

Students should focus on whether they agree with what is stated in the podcast or what their recommendations may be.  Students can also analyze how the material in the podcast will impact the economy in a micro setting.  The analysis portion has the potential to be varied in nature.  However, I recommend sticking to my guidelines below:

  • To evaluate an article you need first to understand the author’s arguments. Start by identifying the assumptions inherent in the argument, checking to see if the conclusions follow from these assumptions.  Try to distinguish the argument from the evidence provided to support the argument
  • To do a critical evaluation, essentially you should take apart the various steps in the argument and see if they make sense separately and as a whole. Can you use the tools learned in class to think about the argument in another way?  Check to see if the author is missing anything in his/her argument or has used some tool or method incorrectly or inappropriately.  Is there evidence that contradicts their argument? 
  • You need to have 1 – 2 economic models we have learned during the semester. (ie, Supply/Demand, Cost Curves, Perfect Competition, Monopolistic Competition, Monopoly, etc)

Conclusion (5 points):  It is important to have a strong conclusion since this is the last chance you have to make an impression on your reader.  The goal of your conclusion isn’t to introduce any new ideas, but to sum up, everything you’ve written.  Specifically, your conclusion should accomplish three major goals: 

  1. Restate the main idea of your essay, or your thesis statement.
  2. Summarize the main sub-points of your essay.
  3. Leave the reader with an interesting final impression.

 

Works Cited:  Works cited completed using MLA format.  Must cite at least 3 sources.   Class notes/lecture can account for one source.   The textbook can account for one source. 

 

How to format your assignment

  • Your assignment should follow MLA format. In other words, your assignment should be typed, double-spaced and have a font size of 12 points.
  • The length of the assignment is not long à 3-4 pages.
  • The title page should have your full name, student id number and the class information.
  • The assignment should be in Word.


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