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ECON7002 Essay Assignment
Task: Choose a newspaper article describing and explaining recent developments in a specic market. Write
a approx. 1500 word essay critically analyse the article using economic concepts taught in the course, and
provide an alternative point of view from the one stated in the article.
are to be chosen from English language newspapers only and must have been published after the 1st
Some examples of eligible newspapers: New York Times, The Australian, Brisbane Times, Courier Mail
Articles from less formal news sources such as blogs or news aggregators are not permissible.
Please check with your tutor or course coordinator if you have any doubts.
Attach a copy of the text of your chosen article in your essay and the URL of the article, for the
reference of the marker.
The Essay Should:
demonstrate a good understanding of the dierent aspects of the industry in question.
present quantitative data, back its arguments by evidence from sources. – lack of empirical data or
evidence would be severely penalized.
use the Harvard referencing style in the body of the essay, and provide a full list of correctly documented
references at the end of the essay.
adhere with formatting and style requirements: double spacing, font size of 12.
use correct spelling and grammar. Keep the writing short and to the point. Falling under the word
limit would not be penalized, but unintelligible writing would.
adhere with rules of academic honesty
Organization of Essay
1. Introduction of Article (100-150 words)
Very briey introduce and summarize the article’s main points, in particular taking care to :
Dene the market being discussed in terms of
the good or service being traded
the geographical boundaries of the market
Coal (even if mined in Australia) is likely to be traded in the global market, while the
market for haircuts is likely to be localized to specic suburbs.
Wine when sold in Australia are likely to be subjected very dierent regulations and taxes
from wine sold in another country – hence we might consider the Australian retail market
for wine to be separate from the market for wine in (for example) Singapore as the market
environments are quite dierent.
Clearly describe the developments or changes in this market the article refers to.
2. Critical Analysis of Article (400-500 words)
Carefully describe the view held by article’s author, and provide support and justication for the
What explanations did the article oer for changes in the market?
From the perspective of the article, is this development positive or negative?
What underlying assumptions do you think the article relies on?
Can you apply economic concepts learnt in the course to justify the article’s point of view?
Are there any aws in the economic reasoning behind the article’s argument? If so, what are they?
3. Provide a Dierent Perspective (400-500 words)
Reect on the article’s assumptions and present your own alternative perspective
based on new assumptions
analysis based on economic theories and ideas taught in the course
explained using relevant diagrams, data and possibly calculations.
4. Conclusion (200-300 words)
Identify one or two interesting ideas you have learnt from this assignment.
How would you apply these ideas in your day to day life or work?
It is intended that you apply concepts covered in the lectures, tutorials, and textbook. The assignment
is deliberately designed to assess your ability to apply theoretical concepts from the course
in everyday economic contexts. Simply repeating economy concepts in your essay without any
attempt to show how these concepts relate to content of the article being discussed is not enough.
So industry-specic information and data would be critical to gaining a good grade for this assess-
It might be a good idea to pick articles with arguments that are obviously awed or biased from
an economic perspective as it makes your job of critical analysis simpler. (Though it takes a good
understanding of the course content to identify such aws in economic reasoning.)
Some economic concepts you should consider
Market Structure: Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition, Oligopoly, Perfect Competition.
Determinants of market structure such as ease of market entry.
Determinants of market supply and/or demand such as
Substitutes or Complements
Who the buyers and sellers are.
Consumer and producer surpluses, and deadweight losses.
Positive or negative externalities associated with market outcomes.
Please choose your article as soon as possible. Please discuss your choice of article with your tutor or
with the course coordinator to ensure that your choice of article is appropriate.
Graphs and diagrams are very useful for discussing and communicating ideas. Essays without any
graphs or diagrams may be penalized.
The word count of 1500 words is only a guide. A well-written 1000 word essay would recieve very high
marks while a poorly written 2000 word essay would be graded very poorly.
Some further tips on a good critical review:
You will need to be very clear on the view(s) of the news article and show a clear understanding of the
arguments put forward.
Take a position on what the article is trying to convey. Form a viewpoint you will take and state it in
a sentence or two.
It’s not about accepting everything you read, but more about questioning, evaluating, nding linkages,
The more dicult critiquing aspect will require you to identify the relevant assumptions made in the
theory, assess the relevance of the arguments put forward in the news article, consider the eects of
changing any assumptions made, exploring the relationships between theory and practice, and oering
The key to critiquing will be to be able to oer alternative views that are able to be defended and can
be shown to be well supported (by theory and/or applications).
A good reference for writing critical review essays is Chapter 6 of
Carnegie, K. L. Assignment writing handbook 2nd. ed. Brisbane, Qld: School of Management, Univer-
sity of Queensland, 2001.
The text is available online on the UQ Library website.
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