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One goal of this course is to help you understand and apply basic economic concepts to daily life. Part of
your role as an informed citizen involves making sound arguments about economic issues that matter to
you and communicating these arguments effectively to others. This assignment will give you practice
developing a convincing written argument about an economic issue for a general audience.


  1. On the Quercus module How to (Re-)Write an Op-Ed, watch the video How to (Re-)Write an Op-Ed,
    which builds on the videos you must have watched already — How To Read Critically and
    How to (Re-)Write an Abstract.
  2. Your assignment is to write an Op-Ed, which refers to the section of a print newspaper that is
    opposite the editorial page and devoted to opinion and commentary rather than straight news.
  3. Choose an article, editorial or opinion piece in a recent (published since 1 September 2022) online
    publication that involves a controversial mAcroeconomic issue that interests you. [You may NOT use
    any article discussed in lectures, abstracts, tutorials, or Economics Out There.] The economic issue
    can be Canadian or international.
  4. In response, write your own commentary in which you take a position on the issue,
    supporting your position by making an argument based on sound economic reasoning.
    • Complete the Draft/Revise/Edit stages for your Op-Ed (see How To (Re-)Write an Op-Ed)
    and submit your Draft 4 to peerScholar on Quercus by the 1st Deadline.
    • Provide feedback to classmates about their Op-Eds by the 2nd Deadline.
    • Incorporate your classmates’ feedback and submit a final draft on Quercus to both Ouriginal and
    peerScholar. On peerScholar, also include your reflection on what you learned from the writing
    and assessment process. Submit all by the 3rd Deadline.


• Your commentary must be 300-500 words or you will lose marks.
• Include right after your Op-Ed a word count (not including title) in parentheses,
e.g. “(490 words).”
• Submit your Op-Ed to peerScholar on Quercus by copying and pasting into a text box.

• Include right after your Op-Ed a word count (not including title) in parentheses,
e.g. “(490 words).”
• Submit your Op-Ed to peerScholar on Quercus by copying and pasting into a text box.
Rubric for Assessment
15 Strengths and weaknesses for each assigned paper, with specifics
10 Fair attempt but weak, lacking specifics
5 No real effort
0 Missed 20 January 2023 deadline, or did not attempt assessments
3) 3rd Deadline — 7 April 2023 (Friday ) — Your final submission and your reflection on what
you learned from the writing and assessment process. Final draft must be submitted
on Quercus to both peerScholar and Ouriginal. If you submit by this deadline, you receive
a maximum of 72 marks for the final draft (marked according to the rubric below) and a
maximum of 9 marks for the reflection (6 marks if missed assessments). If you miss this
deadline, you lose all 72 marks as well as the 9 marks for reflection. Avoid this fate by at least submitting your first draft the day this submission opens, the resubmitting a final draft.
Rubric for Reflection
9 Thoughtful and detailed, refers to peer comments, incorporated revisions
6 Fair attempt but lacking specifics — maximum if missed assessments
3 No real effort
0 No reflection


Your audience is the general reading public. Assume your audience has some education and
background in current affairs and understands basic economic concepts, but is not knowledgeable
about the details of economic theory or policy. In other words, you’ll need to explain any economic
concepts and specialized vocabulary in a way that keeps their interest and respects their intelligence.
Your audience is not the professor or the TAs. You need to write more like a journalist than an academic.


  1. You are writing for a public forum where other writers and readers can debate and comment on
    issues so you must present a clear, concise, and interesting argument that uses evidence to
    support your position
  2. Choose a catchy title to capture your audience’s attention and tell your reader what your main
    point is. Do this AFTER you’ve written a draft so you actually know what your point it. Read a
    few articles in The Economist to see examples of catchy titles.
  3. Make your main point early on: introduce your issue and point of view in your first paragraph.
    Unlike an essay you don’t need a long introduction.
  4. Organize your sentences into short paragraphs (about 3-5 sentences each): As this assignment
    is only 1-2 pages, you should have 3-6 paragraphs. Do not use one-sentence paragraphs.
  5. Make clear any economic reasoning on which your argument is based.
  6. Support each point with evidence whether in the form of a statistic, an example, or economic


The final draft of your op-ed will be evaluated on how well you make reasoned economic arguments
and write clearly, convincingly, correctly, and concisely. In addition, your participation in the peer
assessment and reflection processes is worth 24 of the 96 marks, based on the rubrics above for
assessment and reflection.
Here is a sample rubric that will be used in marking your final draft, worth 72 marks. A 0 – 100% scale
is rarely used for writing assignments, as it is impossible to discriminate that finely between papers.
Letter grades are more commonly used.
Since we have to integrate the score on this assignment with your other numerical scores, your grade
will be based on the marks you earn in each category of the rubric below. You will receive a numerical
mark (for Excellent, Good, Competent, Problematic) in each of the four categories, which will be added
to get a score out of 72 marks. For example, if you get the top (Excellent) score in each category, you
score will be (14+29+15+8 =) 66/72 = (92)%. If you get the second (Good) score in each category, your
score will be (12+24+12+7 =) 55/72 = (77)%. With the lowest score in each category, your score will be
(8+14+7+5 =) 34/72 = (47)%.