Illustrative Assignments to Incorporate Research and Writing in Introductory Economics Classes

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Two relatively simple techniques are described to incorporate both research and writing into introductory-level economics classes. In one, students are asked to investigate the degree of price variation for a single product or service in a local metropolitan area. For the other, students prepare an opinion editorial about some policy topic related to the course. Several completion and grading approaches permit these methods to be scaled feasibly for larger classes. These projects require students to examine the aspects of some material presented in class in greater detail, to develop some understanding of research approaches in economics, and to get practice in writing about economics issues, even in an initial course.

Ronald C. Fisher