past_midterm_writing_comments

past_midterm_writing_comments - Comments on Naturalist...

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Unformatted text preview: Comments on Naturalist Writing Assignment Ka-fu Wong October 16, 2009 Due to time constraint, we are not able to type our comments of individual papers, though a brief comments were scribbled on the printed papers. Here we summarize some of the general problems and our grading scheme. Later we will illustrate with two short papers with a discussion of the problems of the original writers. All papers are judged by the same criteria as we had shown in our class website. Previously, as a practice, students were asked to help grade a sample paper with the following criteria: • Does this paper correctly apply cost and benefit analysis? • What do you think of this paper’s writing? • What do you think of this paper’s topic? Most students thought the paper as average, i.e., 5 on a 10-point scale. We use this paper as benchmark in our grading. That is, if a paper is better than the sample paper, the paper will get a higher grade than the sample paper (i.e., more than 5 on a 10-point scale); if a paper is worse than the sample paper, the paper will get a lower grade than the sample paper (i.e., less than 5 on a 10-point scale). Of course, the criteria above are consistent with our description in our syllabus: “a good writing should address a very interesting phenomenon, and be readable to students without previous economics training.” There is an additional criterion — the paper has to meet the basic requirement of the assignment. In this writing assignment, students were asked to explain why we has changed the way we do things. Students are advised to talk to their parents or friends of older generation for idea of things that had changed within the past 50 years. A paper that fails to meet this requirement will get zero, no matter how interesting and how good the discussion is. It turned out that some students were not explaining a phenomenon about change of ways we do things over time. Examples of such inadmissible topic are: 1. Why are prices changed over time? 2. Who do we prefer something over the others? 1 3. What will the future of China be? 4. What should we do about the Hong Kong transport system? 5. Why people in country A do things differently from those in country B? Some students address interesting and admissible phenomena, but the questions or phenomena were not identified clearly. The other failed to identify factors that have changed over time to explain the way we do things. Below are two rewritten examples that deserve at least 5 on a 10-point scale, if they were submitted for grading. The original ones deserve much less than that. 2 1 Why was the dim-sum trolley system replaced by the dim- sum order sheet system? Hong Kong people like to get together with friends and family members to enjoy tea and dim-sums in restaurants in the morning, especially on holidays. The past twenty years has witnessed a substantial change in the way dim-sums are served....
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past_midterm_writing_comments - Comments on Naturalist...

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