Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
Finding research materials
Google scholar / Econlit / survey articles. “Handbook of Cliometrics” or “Cambridge Economic History”.
Using search engines and bibliographies to construct “bodies of
literature” or research trees.
Reading lists from economic history courses at other universities.
Introduction and conclusion should “bookend” your paper.
Explicitly state research question / thesis statement / hypothesis
to be tested / main objective of research. This helps the reader and the writer.
Motivate your research question.
o Why should the reader care?
o Modern parallel / lessons from history.
o Historical curiosity.
Economic framework / structure.
o How would an economist think about your topic / structure
o What would an economist expect to observe in the historical
o What happened in your particular historical period /
o What does the economic history literature reveal?
Literature review: context / methodology / evidence /
• Critical thinking.
o Compare and contrast / critique / extend.
o What have we learned?
o What is missing or incomplete?
o Link back to explicit statement of research objectives and
To accomplish the learning objectives, almost all
second year papers will be 10-14 pages (double spaced,
default margins), and almost all third-year papers will be 12-
o The grade is assigned on the basis of the quality of the writing
and research, not the number of words.
• Headings and sub-headings are not only allowed, but they are also
The structure of the paper is more obvious with headings.
References and citations.
o The specific style is not relevant, but format must be
consistent through entire paper.
o In-text / footnotes / endnotes are all acceptable, but choose
only one approach through entire paper.
o All citations and references must provide enough information
for reader to find the material being referenced.
Authors’ names; full title; year of publication; article /
chapter name; point references (page / table / equation
numbers) for specific references and quotations.
For online material provide full URL and access date.