For this assignment, you need to write a short essay on business cycles in the U.S. You should write the essay as if you were explaining business cycles to your parents or friends who are intelligent but have not taken this course. (You can actually ask them to read your essay and use this as a way of testing the quality of it.) The lecture slides and textbook will be a good starting point and useful reference for this assignment. There is also a lot of information you can find on the web. But do not just copy the slides or textbook or something online. (This is a violation of the university’s honor code.) You should summarize and discuss the subject in your own words and potentially offer your own opinions and analysis.
1. The contents of the essay are flexible. But you should cover at least, but not limited to, the following aspects of the U.S. business cycles: (a) History and patterns of the U.S. business cycles; (b) Economic theories for business cycles; (c) The role of government in business cycles. While you need to mention all the three aspects above, you do not need to spend an equal amount of words on each of them. Actually, it is a better strategy to focus on one of them and give in-depth discussions. You can use graphs, tables, or math to help your discussions. It will be a plus if you can provide something interesting and relevant in your essay that is neither on the slides nor the textbook such as additional facts, ideas or issues. (You should highlight these parts in your essay.)
2. Grading policy: The essay will be graded based on its quality not its length, although it is often hard to give a high quality discussion with very limited space. A good essay should have a clear structure and be easy to follow. The discussion should be thoughtful and clearly articulated showing good understanding of the subject. Adequate supporting arguments and evidence should be provided for important claims.
3. Anti-plagiarism policy: We will randomly select a few essays to check for plagiarism. In case of a positive result, the student will receive zero for this assignment and be reported to the university for additional penalty.
4. Formatting requirements: (a) You should type and print your essay; (b) Length of the essay: 2 to 5 pages; (c) Paper size: US Letter or A4; (d) Margins: 1 inch on the top, bottom, and sides; (e) Font: 12-point Times New Roman; (f) Line spacing: 1.5 line spacing. Handwritten essays will not be accepted, and failure to comply with the formatting requirements above will hurt your score for this assignment.