ENGL398E: Writing about Economics

English 398E satisfies the Professional Writing requirement for undergraduates at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students study the characteristic genres of writing in modern economics, including theoretical and empirically based journal articles, reports for government and commercial clients, and economic information presented to a variety of non-professional audiences, such as citizen-oriented and public policy organizations. 

Students learn how to analyze these documents rhetorically and how to communicate economic information using the content, arrangement, and style best suited to the purposes and standards of particular audiences. Students also learn how to edit their own work as well as that of their peers. Core assignments include a genre-based journal and document analysis, presentations on economics-related topics for both economists and non-professional audiences, and a major research-based writing project for an audience outside of the classroom. A resume and cover letter assignment is frequently included. Students learn visual design elements characteristic of economic genres, such as graph and table designs. Readings include topical issues in the rhetoric of economics, such as the rhetoric of significance testing. Classroom discussions include informed responses to the readings. 


English 101 or equivalent and a minimum of 60 credits. 

How student learning is assessed: 

Students complete five to six major writing assignments encompassing approximately 6500 words, in addition to in-class exercises, readings, peer review workshops, group work, and oral presentations. Each major assignment is evaluated according to a set of criteria provided to students with the assignments sheets. Students are responsible for the information provided on the course syllabus, as well as on ELMS or other class websites, and for any material provided in a course packet or on handouts distributed in class. Readings may come from an assigned textbook and from other relevant, timely sources. Students are responsible for the readings, which form the basis of class discussion; students may also be required to write responses to reading assignments.