Econ 350: Urban and Regional Economics. Fall 2003

First writing assignment due next week, September 16, 2003

Some general comments based on the experience of previous classes:

I. Choosing an article:

1. Avoid editorials

2. Do NOT use articles from academic journals or professional magazines. Use articles from mainstream publications, such as daily newspapers and weekly news-magazines.

3. Do not use any article that is more than 3-4 pages long, and 2-3 is better.

4. Do ask me about your article if you are not sure

II. Writing:

1. Be critical, think outside the box. What does the author of your article NOT think of that he or she should have.

2. The process: The mind map, the rough draft, the basically finished paper, the polished paper. Don’t rush it. And have fun at the first stage.

2. Don’t start with a summary of your article, or of the course; start with a preview of your main insight.

3. I have seen a lot of articles on this unit, and most (not all, but most) are on the growth or decline of a city. Of these articles, almost all reflected a tension between the static economies of scale – cities benefit when they specialize – and the dynamic economies of scale – over time specialized cities suffer slower growth then unspecialized cities. In other words, both classes of models are important – and they can both apply to the same city!!!

III. What to hand in:


I will read and return rough drafts if they are submitted electronically, with their article, by Sunday before the paper is due.

You should submit a copy of your paper AND a copy of your article.

I accept electronic submissions in Word and WordPerfect. The article can be either an attachment (usually a PDF) or a URL as long as I don’t have to pay to access the URL.