Academic EE Group 3

Tips for writing an EE in Economics

Despite being one of the most popular subjects to write an EE on, an A in an Economics EE is not that common. However, don’t let that stop you from writing your EE on this subject!

1. Choose a focused topic

You may be tempted to choose a broad topic so that you can fill up pages, but trust me, you will quickly find yourself writing over the word limit! A narrowed-down topic enables you to go deep with your writing. 

In addition, the more focused a topic is, the more unique it can be to you. For example, if you are looking at the effects of a rise in prices of tomatoes for households, perhaps limit it to your geographic area (city, town). The more specific, the better! 

I personally looked at the effects of nutrition education on the consumption patterns of students in my school. I looked at a specific area of behavioral economics and limited the range to my school community. 

2. Have both primary and secondary sources (if possible)

It is possible to do an Economics EE without using a primary source, but the danger with that is that you could just end up paraphrasing another study. Another plus of using a primary source is that you can show engagement with your topic cause you took the initiative to conduct interviews/surveys (engagement is part of the criteria). 

It also gives room for your essay to be unique. If we use the example of rising prices of tomatoes again, you can interview staff at your local supermarket or vegetable stand to see whether they noticed changes in households’ consumption of tomatoes since the rise in prices. 

In my case, I conducted a survey that tracked people’s consumption habits for over 5 weeks. Although I had to spend my summer number crunching, it gave me good data that I used to support my arguments. I made sure to mention my work of collecting and analyzing data on my RPPF. 

3. Address different perspectives

It’s important to present your argument coherently, but it’s just as important to acknowledge that there are different arguments out there! What does economic theory say? Is it different from the studies you researched and your data? This makes your argument more nuanced and shows that you have done your research.

4. Remember to use appropriate terminology and graphs

Not only does this make you sound more intelligent, but you are also graded on this! Make sure you are using terms that are related to your topic and your graphs are relevant as well. Don’t just put a graph there and leave it there to explain itself. Explain the movements in your graph and why it’s relevant to what you are writing about. I personally used Inkscape to create my graphs, but I know people who used Microsoft Word or Pages as well. 

5. Reflect on your methodology and results

This is especially important if you collected data. Even if you didn’t, you should discuss how results may differ if you had conducted an alternative research method. You can also bring up the factors that greatly affected the results. What caused people to make those decisions? Why did the results not follow economic theory? 

Writing an EE is a long process, but if you put in the work, you will be greatly rewarded. Unlike Economics IAs where you can only write so much with just 750 words, the EE is a great opportunity to go in-depth and showcase your knowledge! Good luck and it will all be over before you know it!

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1 comment

  1. Would you recommend having a literature review section, or should both sources (primary and secondary) be compared in the evaluation and analysis section? Also, which graphs did you use to explain theory(ies) in behavioral economics?
    Thanks in advance!

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