Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2005


The authors present a series of writing assignments that teaches students how to evaluate and critique the written economic work of others. The foundation text is McCloskey’s (2000) Economical Writing. The students’ dialogues with McCloskey, with each other, and with the authors of the pieces they evaluate sharpen their understanding of, and ability to use, language as an instrument of economic thought. Interviews with former students identify specific benefits from the student perspective of this approach. The authors show how the assignment series can be modified in several ways and how the general approach, as well as the foundation text, can be used in different economics courses.


This is an Author’s Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Smith II, H. M., Watts, M., Broughton, A., & Copley, J. (2005). Evaluating the Written Work of Others: One Way Economics Students Can Learn to Write. Journal Of Economic Education, 36(1), 43-58., as published in THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC EDUCATION, 2005, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: