Novel Project Instructions
Economics is the study of decisions that are made by individual people and households given the set of circumstances that they face personally. The necessary academic economic research that we produce using data and theory tends to abstract away from that human element, but human behaviour is at the core of everything paper that we write – and every paper you read. This goal of this project is to make the lives of women the focus of your final paper. And, importantly, to encourage you to think beyond your own life experiences, and the life experiences of the women that you know, to the lives of women who face very different set of life challenges.
Your approach must be entirely academic and supported with research published by economics in academic economic journals.
Choose a topic
You are writing an academic paper which requires a clearly stated hypothesis and argument supported by published economic literature. Before choosing a specific topic from your list created in check be certain that you can find at least five economics papers that can support your argument. I recommend using Econlit to search the economics literature on your topic since that will narrow your search to our discipline. You might also search in Google Scholar, but be mindful of the fact that you are required to use economics papers, written by economists and/or published in economics journals.
Collect existing research
Compile between 15 to 20 sources that relate to your topic. Some of these sources may be primary sources [i.e. data] and/or from pseudo academic websites [for example, think tanks], but the bulk of your argument will be from papers published by economics, in economics journals, preferably in the previous 10 years.1 These sources will form the bibliography for your final paper so please save them using you citation management tool.
Construct a hypothesis
An economic hypothesis makes a very clear prediction of a relationship between two or more variables that can be argued for with theory and evidence. For example, “The low rates of marriage among African American women is a result of the high incarceration rates of African American men” is an economic hypothesis. Alternatively, “I am interested why fewer of African American women marry than white women” is not an economic hypothesis. Neither is, “I am interested to see if there is a relationship between incarceration rates of African American men and the low rates of marriage of African American women”. This hypothesis will form the basis of your paper so make
1 If you want to include a paper that is older than 10 years please check with either your TA or Instructor first. Under no circumstances are papers older than 20 years to be included in your research.
sure you spend the necessary time to be clear what it is at this early stage of the process. Please check with your TA or instructor if you have any doubt about your hypothesis.
Write and submit your final paper
Your final paper should be a well-research argument based on the novel you have chosen. Please make sure you have a clearly stated thesis statement that is supported by both your argument and the related economics literature [from your annotated bibliography]. This paper should be between 2,000 and 2,500 words typed with one and a half spaced lines, 12-point font, with 2.5 cm margins and with a bibliography that is formatted in the Chicago 15th Edition Author-Date Style.
Your references should be properly inline cited [no titles in the paper, just the names of the authors and the year of publication] and that research should be referred to in the present tense [i.e “Galor and Weil  argue that ….”]. References to passages to your novel must include a page number for your edition [i.e. “Robinson ; pp 64]. Please limit direct quotations to those from your novel; no paper should have more than three direct quotations of this type.