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Week 2 Lecture Notes and Exercises.docx - ECON 290 Week 2:...

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ECON 290Week 2: Eleven Principles of Composition. Lecture NotesA.Readings1.Strunk & White: Chapter II2.“Economical Writing,” All3.Robert Frank: “The Economic Naturalist,” 1-144.Tim Harford: “The Logic of Life,” Chapter 1When you are adept at extracting the underlying principles or ‘rules’ that differentiate types ofproblems you are more successful at picking the right solutions in unfamiliar situations.” (P.Brown, p. 4)What is at first difficult becomes a pleasure in the end, like any skill of civilization, an occasionfor flow.” (Deirdre McCloskey, “Economical Writing,” p. 89.)B.Writing: Eleven Principles of Composition(Strunk and White, Chapter II)Homework: Memorize the 11 rules of composition in Strunk and White, Ch. 2.Self Quiz: 1) Explain why memorizing and applying rules is better than solving problems intuitively, basedon examples or random feedback. Think of an analogy to explain learning by rules vs. learning byintuition.2) Explain how memorizing the 11 rules of composition in this lecture will benefit you. 3)Explain the benefits of using mnemonics for memorization; will you not start forgetting the mnemonicsthemselves when they become too many? Think of a metaphor to visualize the use of mnemonics.Choose adesignand hold to it (Strunk & White, Rule # 12)This course addresses a few genres: summary, critique, synthesis, and analysis.All of them, plusperhaps other short texts that I would call argumentative essays, have something in common:theyneed to make a point, i.e. to have a thesis, and to bring in arguments in support of the thesis. Evenmore important than its appearance,your text should have a sound logical structure, with no looseends or unsupported statements.Make theparagraphyour unit of composition (S&W # 13; McCloskey, Ch. 14)The paragraph is the building block for any writing genre. A paragraph is composed of one or a fewsentences held together by an underlying idea, which is usually spelled outin the opening sentenceof the paragraph. If your thesis is supported by several arguments, each argument should make thesubject of a separate paragraph. Opposite views should also be acknowledged and their merits orfaults should be revealed. A concluding paragraph should show how various arguments areconnected or how arguments supporting your thesis are stronger than opposing arguments.1

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Term
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Writing, The Bible, The Elements of Style, Deirdre McCloskey

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