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Writing economics essays became much simpler and effective when I discovered ...

This post shares effective economics writing tips for A level economics students and is based off an earlier article on economics essays. For more useful resources on how to write economics essays, do use the links and labels on JC Economics Essays.  

Writing is an important life-skill for students and workers, in addition to understanding mathematics and being able to read and interpret data. There are many strong reasons why effective essay writing is a critical life skill. Nowadays, jobs often require strong writing skills and critical thinking for career success; writing is an important aspect of communication; and excellent writing skills are needed for attaining excellent results in essay examinations, particularly for economics, especially since essays are one common assessment method for economics examinations before university (which is more quantitative in nature). 

My post focuses on economics essays, and it shares a simple mnemonic device to remembering simple yet effective tips on how to write effectively in economics essays:

The AIMS model for writing economics essays

What does "AIMS" stand for?

'A' stands for - Accuracy

'I' stands for- Impact, Importance, and Implication

'M' stands for- the "Mother Test"

'S' stands for- Substance


First and foremost, accuracy is important in all forms of writing, not just economics essays

Vague arguments, unspecified terms, and generic arguments make it difficult for readers to understand the writer's intentions and logical flow. Inaccurate writing also certainly makes it difficult for the examiner to give a good grade. 

For instance, when an economics student writes about "economic policy" or "macroeconomic policy" in his economics essay, does this refer to fiscal policy, or monetary policy? 

Does this term refer to expansionary or contractionary policies? 

Does this term refer to Keynesian or monetarist or Neoclassical economic policies? 

At once, it becomes clear that accuracy is important.

Accuracy makes economics writing stronger and better, and much more simple yet effective. 


The letter I can stand for impact, or importance, or implication. All three aspects are important when writing economics essays.  

Impact or importance in terms of significance is important in writing. Why is a sentence or an argument useful or relevant to the reader? Why should the examiner reward you for writing this particular sentence? 

An example for demand and supply is always instructive. Some economics students write that demand rises, and stop there. Well, it might be a stronger economics essay if one wrote about the impact and significance - what happens to the price? What happens to the quantity? What is the likely outcome? These are the important implications that need to be drawn out, rather than a simple mention of rising demand or increasing demand. Remember, use the letter "I" to guide you to write much better, and more effectively. 

Once again, for example, when an economics student writes about expansionary fiscal policy and explains the details of how it works, that is great - but go beyond that: what is the impact or implication of the 
economic policy? What is the importance or significance of this particular policy? If the economic argument goes on to demonstrate that expansionary fiscal policy can ameliorate demand-deficient unemployment in theory or practice, with perhaps real life examples to show that this is indeed the case, then this particular argument has real impact and importance, and really shows the examiner the full implication of the theory. 

To take another example, or rather a simple question: What is the impact of contractionary monetary policy in China? Does this particular policy lower AD and thus reduce demand-pull inflation in China? What is the significance on real Chinese examples? To what extent does this policy successfully achieve the aims, or what are the limitations? 

In other words, a good economics writer has to focus on the economic impact, importance, implication. 

Make your economics writing impactful by drawing out the impacts, importance, and implications.


This is an interesting one. 

M stands for the "Mother Test". 

First, what on earth is the Mother Test? What does your mother have to do with economics writing? 

Basically, the idea is this:

Can your mother understand what you are writing in your paper? 

Some writers call this the "grandmother test", but in this case M is for mothers and that carries the same idea here too - because mothers are memorable, and this fits the mnemonic. 

Quite naturally, the hidden assumption here is that your mother is not actually an economics teacher or professor. 

Write simply, clearly, and directly enough so that your mother can understand your writing, especially if she is not an economics teacher or professor. 

If your economics writing is easily comprehensible to your mother, then that is good. 

If your economics essay cannot be easily understood, because of bad spelling, punctuation issues, faulty grammar, long arguments that somehow do not hit the point, and unclear sentences, then you should practise harder. 

Write simply and to the point. That is the whole idea here. 

Write simply, and write to the point - that is all. 

In other words, help make your mother understand. 


S stands for substance. 

Basically, the idea here is that you need to have strong knowledge of what you are talking about. 

In economics, you need to have a strong knowledge of your theory and real world economic examples, which means that you need to have studied the subject properly and put some real heart into it. 

Do you really know what you are writing about? 

Are you answering the question, and all its various component parts? 

Do you have detailed knowledge of the economics topic, and is what you know relevant to this particular economics question? 

Do you know and fully comprehend, for instance, the  economic policies that you are claiming to analyse?  

For economics students, the relevant questions are: have you really mastered your economics material?

Studying hard for economics will provide you with a strong theoretical background to answer economics essay questions accurately, in simple language, and demonstrating the significance and importance and implications of your economic arguments. 

In other words, the title of this post really should have read: 

Writing economics essays became much simpler and more effective when I discovered the AIMS of writing. 

In conclusion, for effective writing, always remember the AIMS of good writing. Writing economics essays became much simpler and more effective when you discovered the AIMS of good economics writing. 

Good luck! 

JC Economics Essays - Special thanks to M S for building on an earlier contribution on this economics site. This post featured simple and effective advice on how to write and craft a strong and effective economics essay. The advice given by the economics tutor is based off a simple and effective framework for writing essays. Do visit the links all over this economics blog for model A level economics essays and other economics resources for your learning (for H1, H2, H3, A, AS, and GCE A level economics and undergraduate and postgraduate economics essays). Thank you for reading, and cheers. 

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Please do NOT Plagiarise or Copy Economics Essays

It is one thing to learn how to write good economics essays from sample or model economics essays, but another thing if you plagiarise or copy. Do not copy economics essays.

First, if you are handing in an assignment online, there are checkers online which track sources (such as turnitin). Please craft assignments yourself. Second, if you are handing in a handwritten essay, if you copy, you will not learn and will thus not benefit, nor earn good grades when the real economics examination rolls round. Third, you can always write better essays given time and improvement. Fourth, copying is illegal under most conditions. Do not copy economics essays.

This is an economics site for you to learn how to write good economics essays by reading a range of useful articles on writing, study essay responses and contributions and sample/ model economics essays from students, teachers, and editors. We hope you can learn useful and relevant writing skills in the field of economics from our economics site. Thank you for reading and cheers!