A good essay must have the followings: sound economics frameworks, good analysis and correct evaluations! This booklet provides information on how to score well in the essays, sample essays to illustrate the essay structure and most importantly on how to write an “A” essay within the time in examinations!
1. Economic frameworks
A good essay must be discussed within sound and relevant economic frameworks. It is important to note that all economic theories work under sets of assumptions that might not hold in real life. Thus, students must examine to what extent the theories might be relevant in a given context. Arguments must also be supported by economic concepts (e.g. elasticity concept). Diagrams would be useful to show the incorporations of economics theories in your essays
2. Analysis Vs Statements
AVOID making statement without analysis:
e.g.do not just write “ increase in demand causes price to go up”, instead it should be “an increased in demand causes a shortage at the original market price, which send a signal to the firm to increase the price…” or
“increases in investment will reduce unemployment rate”, instead “increased in investment will cause output to increase, and firms will employ more labour which will reduce the unemployment rate in an economy…”
Analysis usually is in the form of CAUSES and EFFECTs, i.e. explaining with economic analysis how certain “causes” will results in certain “effects”.
For example, “How changes in demand and supply conditions will affect the price/quantity of cars?”, or “How global recession affects Singapore economy?”
All essays must be discussed or explained within a real life context. Examples can be used to support an argument or reject it.
For example when arguing that MP is not effective,
“Monetary policy is not effective in reducing overheating in most economies as investment is generally interest inelastic, especially during economic boom. Investors are overly confident about the economy and thus will not mind paying higher interest rates to secure loans for expansion. For example, higher interest rate in China has failed to deter inflationary pressure and inflation rates remain high at 6.5 % in year 2011.”
Or when discuss whether Real GDP per capita is a good indicator for SOL?
e.g. China has achieved an average real economic growth of 10% over the past decade. However, its standard of living might not have improved for all due to the widening of the income gap, shown by the increasing GINI index. Thus, real GDP per capita is not the best indicator to measure SOL of an economy.
4 out of the 25 marks are allocated to evaluation in an essay. Evaluations involve questioning the underlying assumptions of the theory, e.g. the argument might not be true in real life as consumers income might have increased, thus they will continue to purchase the good despite higher prices
Making judgments: e.g “the policy is effective in correcting inflation….however it has certain limitations such as……. Nevertheless, this is still the best policy….”
Making judgment with supported data (examples), e.g. the policy is still the best despite the limitation, for example Singapore has relied on FP to bring the economy out of 2009 recession..”.