How to Write a Research Essay in Economics: Detailed Guide

Writing guide
Posted on August 19, 2019

Writing a research essay in Economics – a good research essay – takes time. By good, we don’t mean an A+ essay since a lot of essays get A’s, but they aren’t necessarily of the finest quality. By a good research essay, we mean a project that fulfills its potential, complies with the demands of the tutor, and, what is more important, communicates with the intended readers.

In your Economics courses, you might be required to write research essays. You may be required to review the literature or a book on a particular topic; you may be asked to take a certain position and defend it or to take someone else’s viewpoint and assess its weak and strong points. You may be required to pose an interesting question in the field, research, and answer it, or to explain some real-life situation with the help of economics concepts and theories.

Regardless of the task, it may be helpful to think of your research essay as having three key parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. In the beginning section, you’re required to introduce your topic, as well as give the purpose of the essay.

Researching Economics Topics

An integral part of writing a research essay in Economics is researching the topics available in the field. The reality is that the way in which you research your topics sheds a lot of light on the way in which this type of papers is written. Regardless of the topic that interests you, it is important first to become aware of the literature available on the subject, and the estimation techniques and models employed. What are the most popular issues today? Why are they important? What issues have previous researchers encountered? Are the research results consistent from project to project, or are they mixed? Where exactly is more thorough research required?

You may have your Economics topic assigned, or you may be given an opportunity to write on the issue of your choice. If you’re given the research topic in Economics, think if it should be a general overview of the issue or a specific analysis. Narrow your topic down if necessary. If you haven’t been given a topic, you have some work to do. At the same time, this opportunity also provides you with the advantage to pick a subject that is relevant or interesting to you. First, think about your purpose. Is your research to persuade or just to inform? Once you’re done with this stage, you will have to do some research on the chosen topics. Finally, evaluate all the options that you have. If your task now is to educate your readers, pick an issue that you have already studied in your Economics course. If you’re going to persuade, select a subject that you’re passionate about. Whatever the key mission of your research, ensure that you’re interested in the issues that you work with.

Below, you will find some of the popular topics to use for the research essay at any academic level:

  • Economies of the New World: The Growth of Early Canada;
  • The Effect of Purchasing Local Produce on the Economy;
  • Pricing as a Risky Choice: Uncertainty in a Monopoly Market;
  • The Future of Economic Systems in Former USSR Republics;
  • The Trade Balance as an Endogenous Variable;
  • The Role of Institutions in a Country’s Growth and Development;
  • The Advertising Problems Behind the Closure of a Company;
  • International Economic: Balance of Payments and Trades;
  • Relationship Between Mature Industries Dominating Small Towns and Their Local Cultural Factors;
  • The Crash of Wall Street in 2008: Main Causes and Lessons Learned;
  • Measures a Business Can Takes to Survive an Economic Crisis;
  • Comparative Research of the Economies of the US and China;
  • Exchange Rate Implications of Border Tax Adjustment Neutrality;
  • The Financial and Non-Financial Support of Family in Successful Entrepreneurship Development;
  • The Pros and Cons of a Private Health Care System;
  • The Role of the International Monetary Fund in the Financial Success of Asian and European Countries;
  • How Ecology and Nature Are Assimilated Into Business;
  • Direct/Indirect Impacts of Liberal Immigration Policies on the Inflow of Multinationals in the United States;
  • Consumption and Social Integration: Empirical Evidence for Migrant Workers from China;
  • Ways of Prevention of Global Imbalances in Economics;
  • The Role of Social Media Marketing Play in Stimulating Supply;
  • The Role and Contribution of Social Entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom;
  • Economic Instability and Macroeconomic Policy;
  • Gender Differences and Difficulties in the Labor Market;
  • The Impact of Nike and Its Products on Ecology.

Organization of the Research Essay

When organizing your research essay in Economics, keep in mind that your readers are impatient and busy. A lot of readers never read the whole thing from start to finish. They do skim. Thus, your task here is to make it easy for them to skim. Most readers are eager to know your basic result. Only a few of them do care about how your research differs from the other Economics experts have to say. For that reason, you have to make sure your research essay is not just a list of facts, terms, figures, and hundreds of things that you’ve tried in your research. Instead, make sure your content flows smoothly and does not include unknown or blurred terms.

The Introduction Section

The introduction of the research essay in Economics should start with what the writer does in the project, i.e., the major contribution. Once you mention that, feel free to tell something unexpected to your readers. They will be much more motivated to read the rest of your research essay if you challenge their intuition from the get-go. The point is that your audience has much more interesting things to do than read your research essay in Economics. So, make them interested in your thesis statement and convinced of the importance of your research in the introductory section.

The first sentence is usually the most difficult to produce. Don’t begin your introduction with philosophy, ‘The field of economics has changed dramatically over the past two decades.’ It’s a waste of both your time and paper space. Instead, begin your introductory paragraph with your central contribution: ‘Slavery was the engine for the economic growth of the United States for much of the country’s history. The capital for western railroads and canals came from the North, whose wealth – in shipping, banking, textiles, and insurance – was in turn created on the basis on the slavery-based economy even after the authorities put an end to slavery in some states.’

A good idea for the research essay introduction is to puzzle or surprise your intended reader’s intuition so that s/he would be curious to read the rest of the project. For instance, ‘There isn’t a single economic theory that can explain the success of Singapore’s economy. The latter is quite complex since it combines extreme features of socialism and capitalism.’

The Body

The body of the research essay in Economics describes, researches, explains and argues your topic. Each main idea that you have will turn into a separate section within the essay body.
The first body paragraph of your research essay contains your strongest argument unless you have something more obvious to say. The first sentence is called the topic sentence, and it related directly to the examples that you’ve mentioned in your introduction.

Keep in mind that the body paragraph containing only one sentence that cites the words of Abraham Lincoln or any other VIP person is not enough, no matter how wise their saying is. Instead, explain to the reader, in detail, why the example is important and, more importantly, in what way the example is related to your research question.

Writing the Conclusion

When it comes to the final part of your research essay in Economics, it is important to keep in mind that your concluding segment should work in tandem with the introductory part. In a way, your conclusion is the so-called upside-down version of your intro: whereas in your opening paragraph, you move towards the thesis statement, in the concluding section, you start with it.

Conclusions in the research essays in Economics are typically brief. Usually, they recap what you have already said in your text. You may also use your concluding section to restate your research purpose/question, as well as restate each of your principal findings. Feel free to talk about the policy implications of the research results and point out the ways in which your research can be either improved or extended. If you write a research essay on ‘Brexit as a Reason Behind the Economic Growth Slowdown of the UK,’ a perfect way to round up your paper would be, ‘There is significant uncertainty around who would lose or gain domestically from Brexit, again depending on whatever new economic governance framework replaces the membership in European Union. The outcome will most likely differ according to region, social group, locality, or employment sector among the potential cleavages. There are, however, indications that Brexit could draw attention to inequality: for instance, the results of our research insist that the burden of Brexit would 99% fall more heavily on the households with low income.’

Professional writers recommend reading your intro and conclusion side by side. In case of the research essay in Economics, these two segments should be consistent with each other: the research question, thesis statement, and the conclusion that you state in your introduction part should be the same you give in your conclusion. However, the concluding part should be not just a reflection of your introduction. Keep in mind that whereas the research essay intro speaks to the components of the project that are about to come, the final part should speak to the issues that go beyond your research. In other words, when you check the essay that you’ve just accomplished, the concluding part should also look ahead.

Choose Your Sources Wisely

Fortunately, there are resources in Economics that will help you with your research, especially when you have tough questions on the list. There are some Economics encyclopedias, for instance, that comprise various entries that are usually reviews of the literature. Among the most useful, pay attention to The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Besides, it’s recommended to regularly consult sources like the Journal of Economic Perspectives and the Journal of Economic Literature. The articles in both sources are published by the authors of the American Economic Association and contain articles on all possible Economic subjects.

Add the Finishing Touches

When you’re done with the writing stage, you might think that you’re ready to submit the piece. Wrong. Before you even think that your research essay is a finished paper, pay attention to the smallest things. Check the paragraphs’ order. Make sure the strongest points go first and at the end of the body, with the rest of the details falling in the middle. Besides, you need to ensure the order of your paragraphs makes sense. If you’re working on the research essay on the Economics strategy of Dubai, make sure that the paper includes the following information: the creation of Dubai, economic profile, why western investors choose Dubai, future development predictions.

Consult the requirements of your research essay, if any. Many tutors and college professors provide different formats of instructions, which is why you have to make sure your paper complies with the desired format. Finally, review what you have created. Read and re-read your research essay in Economics to see if your thoughts and ideas connect with your topic. Check your text for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you’re looking for a good spell and grammar checker, consider using Language Tool or Grammarly to detect any incorrectness in your work.

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