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Tips on Writing a Good Macroeconomics Essay Paper

Hi my dear readers,

Tips on Writing a Good Macroeconomics Essay Paper (for A levels) 

I'll be sharing useful tips and tricks on how to write a good macroeconomics essay paper today. 

There are actually many good articles and guidebooks on how to write a good economics essay during a timed examination. I myself have a few here on JC Economics Essays

However, one article I read recently was quite unique - on "how to write a good Macroeconomics essay for A levels". 

Now that was quite special, and gave me a lot of material to think about! It was a nice emphasis on an important, but specific, particular aspect of economics. 

It said that basically there are a few important things to take note of: 

First, know the allocation of marks. 

Second, know the basic macroeconomic demand-side and supply-side policies very well. 

Third, explain your Economics clearly. 

Fourth, make sure you use case studies (which basically means use evidence and examples). 

Fifth, make sure there is a good evaluative conclusion to the Economics essay. 

Last, but certainly not least, be sure to have good time management. 

These are all good points. 

In fact, knowing the allocation of marks, explaining Economics clearly, having an evaluative conclusion, and allocating your time wisely are in fact also good tips on writing any Economics essay during an examination. 

Let's look at these useful and relevant ideas in detail, for your benefit. 

Know the allocation of marks for the particular Economics examination. 

H1, H2, H3 for A levels? Paper 3 for the A levels? GCSE? AS level? IB Economics? 10 or 15 marks? 25 marks? 35 marks? The principle is simple once you know the rubrics of the examination: the higher the marks, the more Economics material you will have to provide. What is the allocation of the marks for the particular examination you are taking? 

Understand macroeconomic policies extremely well

To be frank, most Economics essays on macroeconomics are extremely predictable. 

Economics examiners and tutors can only basically test students on fiscal policy, monetary policy, exchange rate policy and supply side policies (prices and incomes, etc) and how these affect the general price level, real output, and a particular country’s macroeconomic objectives – whether the country in question is the United States, United Kingdom, or Singapore for that matter. 

It goes without saying that if you are sitting for the A level examination in Singapore, then be prepared for questions about Singapore (and a few other countries as well). 

If you are sitting for the Economics examination in the UK, then be prepared for questions about the United Kingdom; sitting for the exam in India, Russia, and so on, then the questions set will be about India, Russia, and so on. It really is that simple! 

For demand management policies, anything that increases consumption (C), investment (I), government spending (G) & net export (X-M) will surely increase AD (Aggregate Demand). 

Meanwhile, for the supply side policies, anything that increases the quality or quantity of the factors of production will definitely affect AS (Aggregate Supply). 

A quick revision: the factors of production are - land, labour, capital, and enterprise /entrepreneurship/ risk-taking entrepreneurs. Some other economists also suggest that anything affecting levels of productivity, the level of employments of capital or labour, and competition will also increase AS. 

The economics explanation must be clear. 

Economics students must practice or develop their writing skills, to make clear explanations, to a very high degree. Economics students must be able to explain a logical, clear, theoretical-based transmission mechanism (process of an event) clearly. Here is a good example, about monetary policy using loanable funds theory: 

"When money supply is reduced, according to loanable funds theory, interest rates will increase, and thus firms may be tempted to cut investment spending and households may be tempted to cut consumption. This is because the costs of financing a project or business expansion have increased, and the costs of borrowing for consumption have increased. When investment and consumption both fall, AD will also decrease, and the AD curve will shift to the left, curing demand-pull inflation."

I often use a different formulation (which can be found in my e-book called Success in Macroeconomics), but the idea is still the same - have clear economics explanations. 

Read Economics case studies; provide contextual evidence. 

Sometimes, students do not realise that they can actually impress Economics tutors or examiners to get some extra marks by showing a decent level of maturity in their writing and also by projecting themselves as a well-read, knowledgeable candidate. 

Students can always give examples of real life events. 

For instance, in the UK for the A level examinations students could write about incidents during the era of Margaret Thatcher (say, the coal mine strikes) when they write about supply side policies, or what happened during the era of Nigel Lawson, or write about Gordon Brown's economic ideas and policies. 

Sometimes Economics students tend to give only real world examples without a theoretical framework. That is not good. However, sometimes the reverse problem is true. Some students tend to be very theoretical without actually relating any real-life examples or incidents to support the Economic theories and models. 

A good evaluative conclusion is needed for the best essays. 

According to many Economics teachers, there are few standard techniques that usually work for evaluation, and can be applied in various combinations. 

First, Economics students can always write about time lags (delays) in policies, such as the J-curve effect, recognition lags, and implementation lags - and government failure in general. 

Second, students can also always compare between macroeconomic policies. For instance, students could discuss all the policies, then justify which is more suitable for economic growth, and what is the reason for this argument? Always justify your economic argument. 

Third, students can also comment on what will happen to the general price level and the real output level in an economy near or at full employment after demand-management policies happen - demand-pull inflation will result. 

Fourth, students can also do a basic CBA (cost benefit analysis). For instance, for fiscal policy, an increase in government spending may not raise AD that much due to the crowding out effect; supply side liberalisation might have massive problems, for instance during the privatisation and deregulation for British Rail and British Energy there were massive failures, whilst the dismantling of the national minimum wage could potentially create greater income inequality in the UK, and so on. 

Time management/ time allocation is crucial. 

Time management is crucial, not just for Economics at A levels, but also for any other examination you might be taking, beyond just economics examinations. 

Time allocation works on the same principle as mark allocation - if you are getting more marks for the essay, you have to allocate more time to it. 

Be sure to spend some time planning, and then spend most of  your time writing. You will have to do some thinking before you start crafting your essay. 

These are really good and useful ideas which can help you write a really strong macroeconomics paper. 

Hopefully those tips help in crafting an excellent Economics essay; all the best for your examinations, thanks for reading and cheers! 

JC Economics Essays - tips on writing a good macroeconomics essay paper

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