The London School of Economics Students’ Union Economics Society has an essay competition.
Entry is open to students in their final two years of secondary school, or in sixth form college (including students taking A-Level, the International Baccalaureate, or any other equivalent curriculum). Entrants do not have to be studying at schools within the UK – we accept essays from any school from all countries!
This year the questions are:
“We as a nation, lost $817 billion dollars on trade. That’s ridiculous and it’s unacceptable.” – President Donald Trump.
Do you agree that a trade deficit is always harmful to a country’s economy?
“If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.” – John Maynard Keynes
Do you agree with Keynes? Justify your answer.
Should governments bail out banks that go bankrupt?
Recently, there have been proposals to introduce a 3-day weekend. To what extent is this economically feasible and would this benefit the economy?
The website Statista provides statistics and charts on business, industry, etc. Now you can easily cite them in your assignments. For example:
On the right of this chart’s Statista page you can see the Citation option:
Choose Harvard and you get this reference:
Facebook. (2019). Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2019 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 17, 2019. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/
You can copy this reference and paste it into your assignment.
Stephen B. Heard, whose blog Scientist Sees Squirrel we mentioned last week, is a biologist at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. He has written a book, The scientist’s guide to writing (Princeton University Press, 2016).
In the preface he says, “This book is designed for students and early-career scientists across the natural sciences (including mathematics).” There is a chapter for non-native speakers of English.
From the chapter titled Brevity:
Now, that was fun to write, but if advising writers to “be brief ” was all it took, you and I could both just skip this chapter. We can’t. I’ve reviewed, formally or informally, somewhere around a thousand manuscripts over my career, and all but a handful should have been shorter.
There are, of course, other books on scientific writing: for example, Writing science by Joshua Schimel, and Academic writing for international students of science by Jane Bottomley (printed copies in the Resource Centre).
If you’re like me, you’re continually frustrated by the fact that undergraduate students struggle to understand statistics. Actually, that’s putting it mildly: a large fraction of undergraduates simply refuse to understand statistics; mention a requirement for statistical data analysis in your course and you’ll get eye-rolling, groans, or (if it’s early enough in the semester) a rash of course-dropping.
Heard argues that:
we consistently underemphasize the single most important thing about statistics: that this complication is an illusion. In fact, every significance test works exactly the same way.
He goes on to explain how statistics classes can be made simpler.
Here, in a corpus consisting of 707 452 scientific abstracts published between 1881 and 2015 from 122 influential biomedical journals, we show that the readability of science is steadily decreasing. Further, we demonstrate that this trend is indicative of a growing usage of general scientific jargon.
The authors conclude:
more than a quarter of scientific abstracts now have a readability considered beyond college graduate level English.
So if you find a scientific article hard to understand, it may not be your fault!
The Little Book of Norwich by Neil R. Storey was published in 2015.
This book does not pretend to be a history, concise almanac or even a guide to Norwich; instead it is a collection of ephemeral, nostalgic and miscellaneous facts about a city brimming with history and full of fascinating stories.
It has chapters on unrest, royalty, crime, entertainment, sport, religion, food and many other topics.
For example, in 1272 the citizens of Norwich burned down the local monastery, killed many people and looted everything of value. The King arrived to punish the ringleaders, who were subsequently hanged. Even the Pope got involved.
Seven hundred years later (in 1971) boxing champion Muhammad Ali visited Norwich – to promote Ovaltine.