Studying Economics

It is critical for a good economist to read widely and deeply. I have selected a number of chapters from the books that have most challenged me and shaped my own thinking about Economics and research more generally to whet your appetites.     You are assigned four book chapters to read and will need to reflect on and write about each one. I have selected these are they cover a wide array of topics in Economics and are from books that I have really enjoyed and have influenced how I think. We will discuss these in the Live Discussions as well.   These are all provided on Blackboard. The reflections should focus not on the quality of the book chapter as such, but rather on how the book has influenced the manner in which you think about Economics, what you understand about Economics and how you might approach the study of Economics. If it has not done any of these things, that’s fine too. But then make clear why you did not find it insightful or interesting. The following questions can be used as a guide: What is the main point of the chapter? What is the central idea it is trying to get across to the reader? Do you think the book achieved its aim in communicating this idea or ideas? What did the author do well? What could have been improved? Don’t be afraid to be critical!  What do you know about Economics or Economists or the activity or “doing” Economics that you didn’t know before? Has the book changed the way you think about Economics and studying Economics? Why or why not? What has changed in your thinking? If I only assign one book to students in this course next year, would you recommend I choose the book from which this chapter was taken that you read? Why or why not? Are you going to read the rest of the book?   These questions are provided as a guide to your thinking and you needn’t answer them explicitly.    Marking of these assignments is as follows. You get 3 points for every assignment submitted. That’s right! Just for submitting! YAWYR 1 will be marked out of 8 and feedback provided.    Some general marking guidelines for writing assignments: I am looking for depth of thought. Evidence in your writing that you spent time and energy thinking about the chapter, its message, its approach and also your own thinking as a response to what you read. Writing “This is a good book.” Or “I like this book.” are not good places to start. Read, think, reflect, discuss with your colleagues, myself, your tutors. Then write. Grammar matters. Spelling matters. Correct referencing matters. Clarity matters. You will have had a lecture about writing. I suggest you consult that and the recommended readings from the lecture.

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