Resources for you
Every so often, we host online writing hangouts to help groups of 2-5 researchers improve their work. Webinars and hangouts usually have a theme—such as abstracts, introductions, paragraphs, sentence style, tables and graphs—allowing participants to pick up tips and apply them right away. Participants get immediate feedback on their own writing from the instructor and peers. We’re happy to work with groups of your choice or assign you to a group. Check our website for schedules or send us an email if you would like to set up a session with your coauthors or peers.
There are several resources available to young economists who are working to improve their writing. We've shared a few here, but we would also like to know your favorites.
Economics-specific writing guides:
- A Guide for the Young Economist by William Thomson. MIT Press, 2001. In addition to writing advice, you'll pick up very useful tips on how to present models, theorems and proofs, what notation to use, how to define terms, etc.
- Economical Writing (latest edition) by Deirdre McCloskey. Waveland. The classic guide on style with tips on process and substance for writers in economics.
- Also, look out for our book on research writing in economics (coming fall 2014). It will offer you templates that help you showcase your research to a general interest audience in economics with plenty of examples from the field. It will also include tips on writing efficiently so that you never feel stuck.
Interdisciplinary writing, editing, and style guides:
- The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking by Barbara Minto. A book that has shaped the structure of business writing. A rare book that methodically addresses the fundamental issue of structure and organization in writing while showing us how the reading, writing, and thinking processes overlap.
- The Elements of Style (latest edition) by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White. Macmillan. The classic pocketbook on writing style, especially if English is not your native language.
On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser.
- The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers (latest edition). University Of Chicago Press. Your university library may subscribe to the online edition.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab has tips on different types of writing, including CVs and cover letters.
Advice on the job market and faculty reflections on research writing:
- Harvard and Stanford offer very useful guides for job market candidates.
- Professor Gregory Mankiw's rules of thumb will give you a new perspective on how to approach research writing.
- Professor John Cochrane's tips for Ph.D. students will give you concrete steps to take as you prepare for the market.
Reading for inspiration:
- Articles in The Economist.
- If you are preparing for policy writing, the IMF's F&D offers samples of economic topics presented simply.