Eric Rasmusen, [email protected]

Meetings for G492

Meeting 1 Choose three topics

1. Write down 3 possible topics for your term paper on an 8x11 piece of paper, together with a sentence or two about each one. At least one topic should be from the list at, but the other two may be (but need not be) of your own devising. For each topic, look up and read at least one information source on the Web or in the library. My intent is to have you do at least minimal research on each of the three topics, since that will help you know if there is any information out there at all. (For some topics, e.g., milk prices in Bloomington, you might not need library information-- but look anyway.) Include the information source's citation on your piece of paper. Bring your three topics and the references you found to our office meeting. At the meeting, you, I, and the other people at the meeting will discuss whether your topics are interesting and practical, and help you to narrow them down.

Meeting 2 Narrow to one topic and collect background information

Pick one definite topic for your project and start doing background work. Type up three pages (Times New Roman, 12pt font, double spaced) of background information that might serve as part of your paper's introductory section. Add to that a title page, including all the information listed in the writing instructions (which are also on the website) except leaving the abstract blank, and bring it to the office meeting.

Meeting 3 Write an outline and think about the quantitative aspect

Write up (a) a one-page outline for your paper and (b) a brief description of some quantitative analysis you might do. A description of the quantitative analysis is not the quantitative analysis itself. Rather, I'd like for you to think about what quantitative analysis would fit in the paper and write down some ideas. We'll discuss them at the office meeting. The outline will help you to visualize the flow of your research paper, and allow you to begin crafting the different sections of your paper. Save an electronic copy under a title starting with your last name like this: Jones.g492.outline.doc. Please submit your work by email and bring hardcopy to the office meeting.

Meeting 4 Get close to finishing the first draft

For the first draft of the paper, I would like you to write 10 to 12 pages. To force you to think about all aspects of your paper, you should have at least three paragraphs written in each major section. You may, however, focus attention on one or two of the sections (of your choosing) to fulfill your page requirements.

Save an electronic copy as a Microsoft Word document and title it starting with your last name like this: Jones.g492.firstdraft.doc. Then email it to me. You do not have to have this ready for the office meeting--- email it to me by 11:55 p.m. Monday, March 22. You do not have to send me a paper copy. Do check off the items on the checklist at

For April 8:

Please rewrite one page from your draft, rewrite it again, and email to to me by 11:55 p.m. as an MS-Word document titled using this pattern:

I will edit it to show you how you can improve your writing.

Meeting 5

s This is your last chance to get comments before submitting the final draft. The purpose of this meeting is to address any questions that might arise in making the final push towards finishing.