Economics is an integral part of our daily lives. On an individual level, economics influences many of your choices on consumption, leisure, work, and savings. As a whole, macro-economic trends dictate changes in economic growth, interest rates, and inflation. The goal of studying and understanding economics as a field is to learn how to optimize economic utility, utilize resources and apply vital economic concepts like supply and demand, costs and benefits, scarcity, and incentives, into our daily lives.
As a budding economic researcher, your economics research paper has a chance to contribute to macroeconomic forecasts on several economic factors that will drive the necessary changes in government and organizational policies.
Table of Content
- Understand the Expectations of your Research Paper.
- Create an Outline.
- Select a Research Topic.
- Conduct the necessary research.
- Write the Introduction to your Research Paper.
- Write the Body of Your Research Paper.
- Conclude your Research Paper.
- List your References.
- Edit and Proofread your Paper.
Below are tips on how to write an outstanding economics research paper.
In many cases, the objective of an economics research paper is to explore how economic variables react to external forces or to understand how an individual or a group of people would respond to a particular incentive or solve a specific problem.
With these two objectives in mind, you can use the two types of economics research papers listed below to understand which category yours falls under.
- Theoretical papers
This category includes economics research papers that are looking to prove the existence of a particular economic model. This could be a model you have been developed or created by another researcher. Theoretical economics research papers involve mathematical equations, proofs, and theorems
- Empirical papers
Unlike theoretical economics research papers, the goal of an empirical paper is to establish whether a particular economic model can be applied in reality. This type of economics research paper involves more prose than theorems and mathematics, and its findings are presented in tables.
Remember that the above categories of economics research papers are not the only ones but are the most common. Other economics research papers include literature reviews, handbooks, and history papers.
After understanding the expectations of your paper, it’s time to start on the actual writing.
Even though an outline is not always necessary in an economics research paper, it is a great way to organize your ideas and create a flow of tasks. A proper outline will simplify reasoning and research and create a concrete path to quality writing.
An outline is also a time-saving tool that lets you prioritize or eliminate unnecessary tasks, making researching and writing your paper much more effective.
Remember that an outline is simply a list of all the tasks you need to perform to begin and complete your research paper. You do not need to include details that should be in the body. Alternatively, create an outline by writing down questions that you need to answer as you work through writing your research paper.
Here is an example of a basic outline you can use for your economics research paper.
- Objectives of the paper
- Data overview
Topic selection is probably the most crucial step in writing a research paper because the topic is responsible for shaping your ideas, research, and general direction of your research paper. For this reason, you must take your time to research suitable topics.
Use the strategies below to select the right topic for your economics research paper.
- Determine your research paper’s category- as earlier mentioned, there are two significant types of economics research paper categories, theoretical and empirical. You need first to determine which type of research paper you are writing before selecting a topic.
- Choose a field that is important to you- a good economics research paper reflects the time and effort put into writing. It is easier to put in the necessary work when researching a topic that is important to you.
- Consider an interesting economics topic- remember to note the difference between a topic that is important to you and one that is interesting. The latter refers to researching a topic that is different and innovative.
- Ask for help from an expert- selecting the right topic can be a challenging task for any novice researcher. If you cannot decide on the right topic yourself, seek the help of your college professor or any other person knowledgeable in economics.
Be cautious when selecting a topic from areas that you are entirely unfamiliar with. Choosing a topic you did not cover in any of your economics coursework will lead to spending considerable time studying the field to ensure you have sufficient information to apply the analytical skills required in writing your research paper.
The research stage is where you expand your argument and indicate your calculations. Even though it may seem like a basic and unnecessary step, it is essential to begin your research by creating a research plan. With a research plan, you can define the significant components to resolve through research and organize tasks logically.
After creating a research plan, the next step is to develop practical` research questions to guide the information gathering process. Examples of helpful research questions include ones with an analytical aspect to drive you to explain what insights your audience should derive from your research. Additionally, have innovative questions that encourage you to present different perspectives of your primary research argument.
Remember to avoid making assumptions by giving information not backed by supporting evidence. When conducting research, ensure that you include your sources and, where possible, have page numbers. A reader may be looking to verify or expand their knowledge on the subject, it is essential that you make their work easier.
You gain or lose a reader depending on how well you write your research paper’s introduction. Introduce your economics research paper by stating your thesis and explaining briefly but clearly why it matters.
A good economics research paper introduction will:
- Grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to keep reading
- Clearly state your thesis so that the reader knows what to expect with your paper
- Explains the empirical approach used to study and present the information presented in the paper
- Explains the significance and impact of the research paper
Remember not to reveal too many details in your introduction. An introduction is meant to highlight the ideas discussed in the body of your research paper.
The body of the research paper is where you review and interpret the results of your research. The most significant factor to consider when writing the research paper body is how the ideas presented in the paper connect to the thesis.
To write the body of your paper efficiently, you can divide it into three main parts:
- Theoretical section- in this section, write briefly about the approaches of other economics researchers to the topic, then identify the gaps in their hypotheses that you wish to study.
- Practical section- in this section, apply your economic knowledge and skills to prove the thesis statement using the methods you have learned in college and in your research.
- The analysis section- in this section, present research findings concerning your thesis and demonstrate how you have achieved the objective of the research paper and the value of your research in that particular field of study. To present this information accurately, utilize tables, charts, and simple descriptions. Remember to back up this information with supporting evidence.
A conclusion is an excellent chance for your paper to stand out from other research papers in that field of economics. One way to stand out is to use the conclusion to reflect on the theories presented in the paper critically.
Additionally, use the conclusion to briefly analyze the significant arguments made in the paper and the answers to the research questions posed initially in the research design stage.
Finally, conclude your paper by highlighting the significance of your findings then speculate on an additional field of study that can contribute to the understanding of the main topic
List the sources you have consulted in the writing of your economics research paper, and don’t forget to refer to the format guidelines for the citation style.
Editing and proofreading your research paper has nothing to do with research but is as vital as all the other steps taken in writing your economics research paper. For this reason, you need to make time to go through your paper to make the necessary changes and correct errors.
To edit, check the paper’s paragraph structure and ensure that each presents a different idea and begins with a thesis statement. Next, ensure that the appropriate transition words are used to link paragraphs.
Finally, check that you have included sufficient evidence to support your arguments, ideas are discussed conclusively, and that your work is clear and concise.
To proofread, ensure that the format used for headlines, diagrams, tables, margins, and footnotes is consistent. Next, check for any grammatical and punctuation errors. Additionally, ensure that the tone of your paper is objective and precise.
After making all the necessary changes, go through your paper several times to ensure everything is in the right place, then submit your paper.