Rough Draft

For Rough Drafts, I’ll be looking for the things listed in the table
below in each section. Of course following the guidelines of the
assignment listed above is important; to repeat, all papers must have:
1.) five sections, 2.) about 25 paragraphs or 125 sentences, 3.) tables
of Variable Descriptions, Summary Statistics, and Regression Results,
4.) no copied figures, 5.) References (at least seven) in Chicago
format, 6.) an equation describing an empirical model, 7.) an abstract
that summarizes the paper, and 8.) One or more JEL codes.

Content is most important. Remember this is a class about using
observational data to estimate causal effects, so focus on discussing
literature that strives to define and estimate causal effects, evaluate
how credible the estimates in the study you replicate are as causal
effects, and how your extension adds to our understanding, or improves
upon the replication.

Grammar is also important. There are formal rules of grammar (Does
each paragraph have a topic sentence? Do all sentences develop one
controlling idea? Does paper feature appropriate punctuation, syntax,
usage? Is the paper free of spelling errors? Are citations used
appropriately?) There are also less formal “stylistic” elements of
writing: Does paper avoid the passive voice? Overall, is the writing
style and voice appropriate?  Does it appear the student read
contemporary and seminal studies and is it written in the style of the

The best way to learn the style of economic writing is to read
economic writing; this suggests you should try to actually read the
journal articles you review in your literature review section, not just
the abstracts. You can also consult various guides to style and writing.
In addition to the McCloskey (1985) article that will be discussed in
class, a book-length treatment that is widely used across fields is
Strunk (2007) The elements of style.

For outlines, rough drafts and final papers, the percentages listed
below each criteria are the approximate weight of each section towards
your final grade. The difference between the assignments, essentially,
is just the level of completeness—an outline may not feature any
results, a draft will have results but the writing will be incomplete,
and a final paper will be a complete academic-style term paper.