Choosing a Topic
Students should begin thinking about a term paper topic as soon as possible. Acceptable topics are not limited to those listed above: any trade issue dealing with some aspect of trade policy is a good candidate for a paper topic. If you have a special interest in a particular trade issue, dispute, practice or market in the US or abroad, please consult with the instructor to see if it is an appropriate topic for this course. The term paper may provide a framework for studying a topic of special interest to you.
From the student’s point of view, the most immediate concern is finding a workable topic. The first part of the term paper assignment is to submit a brief preliminary outline by Monday, September 23. Students will then sign up for a meeting with the instructor to discuss the topic, at which time changes will be possible.
It is important to begin research on your topic early in the semester, since the most difficult and time-consuming part of such a project (aside from choosing a topic!) is usually finding the right materials and information. Students should avail themselves of Babson’s library facilities, the Interlibrary Loan system (ILL), access to other area libraries, and internet-based sources. Information sessions and general help on using on-line resources are available at the Horn Library. See also the library website for this course, described in the course syllabus.
Format of the Paper
The paper should analyze the topic, focusing on the political economy of the trade issue, and offer recommendations to the policy maker or decision maker. In other words, the paper should explain what economic interests are involved in the case, and discuss most relevant economic, political, and/or institutional factors in analyzing the issue and offering recommendations. Typically, there are three sections to a paper of this sort: 1) a brief background section defining the policy issue and presenting the basic underlying facts, 2) an analysis of the issue, as described above, and 3) recommendations suggesting a change in the procedures, strategies or policy as a means of resolving the problem or issue, improving the operation or economic effects of the policy, possible strategies for business, etc. In addition, you are required to prepare a brief (approximately 1-page) executive summary of your report. This should be written after the paper is completed, and should appear at the beginning of the paper.
Papers should be approximately 10-12 (up to 15) pages long, not counting exhibits, and double-spaced. Please make sure that pages are numbered, and pay attention to spelling, grammar, clarity and other essentials of written communication. Standard requirements for scholarship apply: all sources must be clearly indicated, and the paper is to be the student’s own work.
Students will be required to submit their final papers for a Turnitin originality report. There will be special files set up on the Blackboard site for 1) your preliminary drafts and 2) your final submissions. Further information on procedures to use the particular software in use will be provided on the Blackboard site and through Babson ITSD.