The term paper assignment requires you to write a 6-10 page paper, including bibliography and references, on a topic in the economic history of Europe.  The proposal (a typed outline that includes the sources that you propose to consult) earns you up to five points, and is due by 6 PM on Monday, October 14.  The paper itself earns you up to twenty points, and is due by 6 PM on Wednesday, November 13.  Together the proposal and the term paper itself are worth 25% of the final grade.  N.B.  The proposal is not a summary of the paper—which you write after I have approved your proposal.


What topic should you choose?

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Whatever you want—so long as it is on some aspect of European economic history—and if you want, you can choose a topic prior to AD 600.  (But don’t choose a topic later than 1914.)  I’m happy for you to write a paper comparing the economic development of, say, Britain and China, e.g., why did Britain industrialize before China (with the focus on Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries); the impact of Europe on the rest of the world, e.g., the economic ties between Britain and its colonies; the economics of a commodity, e.g., the British silk industry under protection and free trade, or the impact of imported commodities on the European diet and living standards; or how an economic policy, e.g., mercantilism, protectionism, free trade, free banking, the gold standard, or bimetallism, worked out for a country or countries.  If you’re in any doubt about what would make a suitable topic for your term paper, contact me in person or by email.


How to research the topic

Use the bibliographies in Persson 2015 and Griffin 2018 as your starting points—and don’t forget appropriate entries in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Third Edition (online, 2018- at, which you can access from home using your membership of the university library.

(Don’t rely on OneSearch, the search engine on our library website.)  Remember there are a great many books on the shelves on the sixth floor of the King library, especially in the HC class.  If the university library doesn’t have a particular book, it’s possible that either another CSU library (CSU+) or your local public library does have the book, or if none of those do, you can order the book through Interlibrary Loan or Link+.

And it’s okay to use discriminating and thoughtful use of websites containing worthwhile material.  And come and see me!




Instructions for writing the paper

The paper should be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font (and use italic, bold or underline sparingly) and double-spaced (like this sentence).

The paper should be 1500-2500 words in length (not including the bibliography) with one-inch margins top and bottom, left and right.  Your full name and the word count (not including the bibliography) should appear on the cover sheet.  Large, clearly labeled diagrams may be used where appropriate.  A bibliography and/or references typed in a consistent format should be included at the end of the paper.  A 1500-2500 word paper (not including a cover sheet, diagrams, and bibliography) would fill 5-8 pages depending on the spacing between paragraphs.  Papers that are too short lose points.  And papers that exceed 2500 words had better be worth reading!



You are strongly encouraged to discuss your proposal with me, and you are welcome to run a draft by me.  Please submit your draft by 6:00 PM on Wednesday, October 30, (to be returned by Wednesday, November 6).  The paper itself is due by 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 13.  I won’t accept any draft or paper that is either emailed or faxed.  And you will lose points if you are late in submitting your paper.



Honor code

The university regards cheating and plagiarizing as serious offenses against the honor code and I shall not hesitate to enforce the rules.  Students are recommended to consult the appropriate section of the honor code.

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