How to Write Economics Essays - A Complete Self Help Guide!
I think some good, simple, clear advice would be able to help students see the process and think through how they could improve on their writing skills, as well as the examination process.
The idea of differing mark allocations for different examinations would also apply for the various versions of the A levels around the world, and so on.
Be sure to know what you are doing.
Students can explain Economics ideas and arguments in basically three main ways - mathematically, verbally (written), and through the use of Economics diagrams. For the A levels, at least, mathematics is the least of your concerns in writing the essays, so it basically means that you need to be able to explain well in words, and draw well-labelled diagrams that can show what you want to convey to the examiner or your tutor.
(Well, actually mathematics definitely applies to postgraduate Economics as well!)
Sixth, you try to make arguments that link to the question.
This is a simple point but many students do not do this. The weak students define. The better students define and explain. The strong students define, explain, and link theories to evidence.
The best students do all that - and they make strong arguments for both sides of the case. They address economics questions with balanced arguments, for and against.
I often told my economics students that a good evaluative paragraph would do three thing - and three things only.
First, it would signpost; second, it would make an opinion(s) that answered the economics question; and third, it would justify that opinion(s). One day, perhaps when I get round to it, I shall write a whole post on how to properly make an economics evaluation, but that is a task for another time.
To summarise: Signpost by signalling that you are concluding. "In conclusion" or "To conclude my paper" or "In the final analysis" are good examples of a clear signpost that suggests that you are about to conclude your paper. Follow this up by giving a strong opinion on the question (to what extent/ what is the stronger or better argument/ which main argument or stand or side do you support), and then justifying your "extent", "weightage", and "main argument".
When you have given a strong opinion that justifies your body of arguments and wraps up your paper, you have made an evaluative conclusion.
Update: This essay was updated and further formatted in 2015. Thank you for reading, and cheers.