How to Write an Economics Essay

Susan Wilson, 31 January, 2020
Updated 9 November, 2023

Writing an economics essay requires a clear understanding of economic theories, principles, and current events. Crafting a well-argued essay in economics involves rigorous research, structured argumentation, and the clear presentation of ideas. Here’s a structured guide to help you navigate the process of writing an impactful economics essay.


Understanding Economics Essays

  • Definition: An economics essay is an analytical composition that discusses economic theories, principles, policies, or case studies.
  • Purpose: It aims to explore and evaluate economic issues with clarity and insight.

Importance of Clarity and Research

  • Clarity in Argument: A cogent essay communicates ideas effectively, leaving no room for ambiguity.
  • Necessity of Thorough Research: It underpins your arguments with empirical evidence, making your essay persuasive and credible.

How to Start an Economics Essay

Understanding and Answering the Essay Question

  1. Interpret the Question: Determine what the question is asking and identify keywords.
  2. Define Economic Terms: Clearly define economic terms relevant to the question.

Presenting Ideas with Simplicity and Clarity

  • Simplicity: Use straightforward language to convey complex economic concepts.
  • Clarity: Organize thoughts in a logical sequence to guide the reader effortlessly through your argument.

Research and Use of Diagrams

  • Importance of Research: Collect data and literature to support your viewpoints.
  • Diagrams and Graphs: Incorporate these tools to visually represent economic models and statistics.

Writing a Good Economics Essay

Understanding the Question

  • Comprehend the Scope: Ensure you understand the depth and breadth required by the essay question.
  • Identify the Command Words: Words like ‘analyze’, ‘discuss’, or ‘evaluate’ set the tone for your response.

Organizing Ideas

  1. Outline Your Essay: Create a blueprint of your essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  2. Develop a Thesis Statement: This is the main argument that will be supported throughout your essay.

Crafting the Essay

  1. Introduction: Set the stage for your argument, stating your thesis and the essay’s structure.
  2. Body:
    • Paragraph Structure: Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, followed by evidence and explanation.
    • Evidence: Use statistical data, case studies, and scholarly articles to back your arguments.
    • Analysis: Critically assess the evidence and explain its relevance to your thesis.
  3. Conclusion: Summarize the main points and reiterate the thesis, clearly showing how you’ve addressed the essay question.

Polishing Your Essay

  • Review and Edit: Proofread for grammatical errors and ensure your argument flows coherently.
  • Feedback: If possible, get feedback from peers or educators to refine your essay further.

Structuring the Essay


  • Purpose: To introduce the topic, present your thesis, and outline the structure of the essay.
  • Content: Start with a hook or a compelling fact, define key terms, and state the thesis statement.
  • Structure: Keep it concise, aiming for 10% of the total word count.


  • Purpose: To delve into the arguments that support your thesis.
  • Content: Each paragraph should contain one main idea with supporting evidence.
  • Structure:
    • Paragraphs: Begin with a clear topic sentence. Follow with evidence, then analysis, and conclude with a sentence that links to the next paragraph.
    • Flow: Points should be arranged in a logical order, often from the most to the least important.
    • Word Count Distribution: Roughly 80% of your essay should be dedicated to the body.


  • Purpose: To summarize the essay and restate the thesis in light of the arguments presented.
  • Content: Briefly recap the main points, without introducing new information.
  • Structure: Approximately 10% of the essay, mirroring the introduction’s length.

Crafting the Body of the Essay

Developing Arguments within Paragraphs

  • Self-Contained: Each paragraph should make sense on its own, with a clear argument that ties back to the thesis.
  • Evidence: Use statistics, quotes, or graphics that support the argument. Cite sources properly.

Presenting Explanations and Evidence

  • Explanation: After presenting evidence, elaborate on how it supports the argument.
  • Techniques:
    • Detailing: Provide sufficient detail for the reader to understand the context.
    • Examples: Use case studies or hypothetical scenarios to illustrate points.
    • Diagrams and Graphs: These can be effective for explaining complex data.

Concluding the Essay

Summarizing Points and Arguments

  • Main Points: Restate the key arguments of each paragraph succinctly.
  • Thesis Restatement: Remind the reader of the overarching argument, now substantiated with evidence.

Reviewing and Refining the Essay

  • Importance of Review: It allows you to catch errors and improve clarity.
  • Refining: Look for areas where arguments can be tightened or where the flow can be improved.
  • Final Touch: Ensure that the essay answers the question completely and adheres to the required word count.

Remember, the strength of an economics essay lies in how convincingly you can argue a point with supporting evidence and clear, logical structuring.

Additional Tips and Guidelines

  • Explicit Language: Be direct. Avoid vague terms that can leave the reader uncertain about your points.
  • Short Sentences: They are easier to read and understand. They help in making your argument more compelling.
  • Paragraph Length: Keep paragraphs to a maximum of 6-8 sentences to maintain reader engagement and clarity.

Editing and Proofreading

  • Coherence: Check that your essay flows logically from one point to the next.
  • Grammar and Spelling: Use tools or have a peer review to catch errors that you might have missed.
  • Correct Referencing: Ensure all sources are acknowledged to avoid plagiarism.

References and Citations

  • Citation Style: Use the preferred citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) consistently throughout your essay.
  • In-Text Citations: Include these every time you use data, quotes, or ideas that are not your own.
  • Reference List: All sources should be listed at the end of your essay in a reference list or bibliography.

Adhering to these practices not only strengthens your essay but also upholds the ethical standards of academic writing.


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