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Notes on Conducting Research Essays


· The first page of the essay should include the following information: the title of the paper, the studentís name and student number, the course and date and a short abstract of the paper (about 100 words). If a specific question has been set then the question itself should also be clearly indicated.

· Essays are to be typed in double spaced 12 point font.

· Charts (using data) are to be large enough to be easily read, with clearly marked titles, axis labels and data sources.

· Diagrams may be drawn on the computer or hand-drawn so long as they are large enough to be easily read and have clearly marked titles and axis labels.

· Include a sufficiently wide margin on the right hand side of the page for marking comments - the standard settings in most word processing packages are appropriate.

· A bibliography is to be provided. References in the essay should be included in a consistent style and complete citations provided in the bibliography. Only include sources which you have referenced in your essay in the bibliography - not sources you consulted but did not cite. Any consistent style of referencing is acceptable, the following is a suggested style which would be appropriate for a professional economist.

Research, Referencing, Quotations and Plagarism

The type of research we are involved in requires you to bring forward a structured argument to support or contradict a particular theme. In order to provide good academic work you need to investigate the work of previous researchers on the same topic and include their work in your argument. A suggested means of doing this is to read references which seem to be relevant to your research question and note in point form the main arguments of each reference. When you have read a reasonable number of references then attempt to sketch the line of argument you want your research paper to take - annotating it with the supporting/contradictory evidence you have found in your reading. It is important to include both your supporting and contradictory evidence to indicate the rigour of your research and substantiate the plausability of your argument. Then begin to write your paper - during which process you will probably wish to consult with your references again, and probably to seek out new ones as the argument develops. If you are working from either your notes or the orginal references during the writing process it is important that you express the arguments yourself. To paraphrase the work of other authors or use the arguments of other authors without due acknowledgement is plagarism and is unacceptable. Heavy penalties will be imposed for plagarism - if you are unsure whether something could be considered as plagarism then think again whether the point should be attributed.

References to other authorsí work are to be cited by the authorsí name and publication date; eg. Adams (1997). When there is more than one author it is conventional to cite the reference by all authorsí names in the first citation, such as Adams, James and Johnson (1993), and to abbreviate in subsequent citations, eg Adams et al (1993). If an author has more than one reference published in a particular year the references should be cited as Adams (1993a) and Adams (1993b) and listed that way in the bibliography. All references cited in the essay should be fully documented in the bibliography.

If you should wish to quote a particularly inciteful or appropriate extract from another authorís work then the quotation should be set up in quotation marks and followed immediately by the reference and page number from which the quotation was taken. For example "...the world economy was greatly threatened by [the] world war." Adams (1943: 21). In this example the ... indicate that the quotation is an incomplete sentence, the [ ] indicate that the enclosed words were added by the current researcher to help the understanding of the quotation in the current context but not to change the meaning, and the reference (1943: 21) indicates that the quotation can be found on page 21 of that reference. If you wish to use a long quotation it is usual to begin on a new line and indent the quotation from the text as in the following example:

"When the world economy has been in decline it has generally

been attributed to the political manoeuvering of the rulers of

nations in there attempts to maintain personal power."

Adams (1943:25)

In general it is better to limit the number of quotations you use in a research paper and construct the arguments in your own language.

The Bibliography

Your essay may contain references to several different types of work, articles in published journals, books, articles in books, working or discussion paper series and Government publications. Below are suggested styles for dealing with references to each of these types of publication. In general references should be listed in alphabetical order by first author and followed immediately by the year of publication. Where the author is an institution that should be treated in the alphabetical listing. Where there are more than one author it is usual to list the first author by surname and then first name and following authors as first name then surname - you may use either the authors full first name or initials depending on your preference. Conventionally the article titles are listed in double quotation marks " ",titles of journals are listed in italics, book titles are underlined. Capitalisation of titles in the references follows the original publication - so if the article was published with the title "The exchange rate and the terms of trade" that is how it should be referenced, or if it was published as "The Exchange Rate and the Terms of Trade" that is how it should be referenced.


· books - references should contain the authors name, date of publication, title (underlined), publishers name and place of publication.

Adams R and J Adams (1997) Macroeconomics and Reality Angus and Robertson, Canberra

· articles or chapters in books - references should contain the name of the authors of the article or chapter, date of publication, title of the article or chapter, page reference, authors of the book, book title (underlined), publishers name and place of publication

Adams M (1997) "The World Economy" pp.20-30 in Adams R and J Adams Macroeconomics and Reality Angus and Robertson, Canberra

· discussion or working paper series - references should contain the name of the authors, date of publication, title of the paper, series name

Adams R (1993) "Macroeconomics and the Real World" University of Eastern Australia Economics Department Research Discussion Paper no. 99

· journal article - references should contain the name of the authors, date of publication, title of the paper, title of the journal (in italics), journal volume, journal number (in parentheses - the inclusion of journal number is optional), page reference

Adams J (1997) "The Development of Modern Macroeconomics" The Journal of Macroeconomics 12 (3) pp.30-54



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