Economics 3340.1A/B Fall 2018 Research Paper Guidelines
1. Papers should be about 1,200-1,500 words or about 5 pages of text (not including
references); double-spaced, 12 pitch font. Number your pages and include a title page.
2. You may pick a topic from the following list, or choose your own topic in consultation with
me (contact me by October 25 if you are proposing your own topic). Additional topics may
be suggested in class. Your topic should be something that interests you!
3. Papers should provide an overview of a particular topic, based on reading relevant literature.
4. You are expected to have a 6-8 good sources, at least 2 of which should be from academic
journals. Please consult with me if you are in doubt. I expect you to use academic sources
(journal articles, books, research reports from reputable organizations, government
documents). Restrict your use of newspaper/magazine articles and non-refereed internet
sources. Wikipedia is not an acceptable source (though it may be used to find other sources).
Include recent publications (since 2013) whenever possible. Consult the ‘Additional Articles’
folder and web links on Brightspace for relevant material and check the government sources
identified in the assignment or in class. If there are relevant articles there that you do
NOT include, your grade will be affected. At least two items should be ones you found
on your own. Use the library Research Resources Databases and ask for help. I am willing
to review your source list and provide suggestions/comments up until Nov. 6th (email it
to me, or bring it to office hours).
5. Papers must include citations throughout the text and a complete reference list at the end.
Use the APA style (parenthetic citation method, standard in social sciences) for in-text
citations (author, date, page in brackets) and reference list at the end. Include explanatory
footnotes or endnotes if needed. For internet sources include standard reference information
(author, date, title, organization etc.) where possible. Do NOT just put down a URL. Any
material taken from another source, whether or not it is a direct quote, must have a citation.
Tables taken from another source must include a citation for that source. Include page
numbers for quotes and other specific information like tables. Please see the Writing Centre
(www.smu.ca/academic/writingcentre) and Library for handouts and on-line resources on
referencing (including the Sobey School of Business Style Manual, which uses the APA style
– on Brightspace under ‘Term Paper’).
6. You must use your own words. Papers will be submitted to Turnitin.com to help identify
material which is not properly cited. Plagiarism will result in a zero grade for the paper (see
the course outline and the Academic Calendar for the University policy on plagiarism and the
Academic Integrity booklet posted on Blackboard under ‘Term Paper’). Examples of
plagiarism include using a paper written by another student, copying material from any
published or unpublished source without proper in-text citation, and recycling your own
paper from another course (unless you have prior permission from both instructors).
7. Papers are due Nov. 13th (to Turnitin, plus a hard copy me). Late papers will be penalized .5
point per day (out of 20).
8. Papers will be evaluated equally on three aspects: Research (collecting information),
Analysis (organization and synthesis of information, clarity of your argument) and Writing
(grammar, spelling, references, etc.). Consult the Writing Centre if you need advice.
Discuss initiative(s) by unions to support non-traditional ways of organizing – for example,
the $15/hour minimum wage movement and the living wage movement.
Review the issue of sexual harassment in the Canadian military, including the findings and
recommendations of the External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in
the Canadian Armed Forces (Deschamps report, 2015) and their implementation.
3. Review recent research findings on increased earnings and/or income inequality in Canada
(not gender inequality). This is Topic 4 on the reading list - see supplementary articles
4. Examine the status and challenges faced by women in ONE particular type of work in
Canada (e.g., women in management, trades, academia, accounting, law, STEM fields,
military; self-employment/entrepreneurship…). You may choose another country, with
5. Examine the status of disabled workers in the Canadian labour market and the barriers they
face. You may focus on one type of disability.
6. Examine the impact of children on women’s earnings (see articles on the ‘mommy’ or
‘motherhood’ gap). Include a discussion of policies/practices that might reduce this gap.
7. Review findings on earnings differentials based on sexual orientation. Note: findings differ
for men and women – you may focus on one group if you want.
8. Compare the maternity/parental benefits program under EI with the Quebec program,
including recent changes to the EI program. Identify key provisions that promote or hinder
gender equality. Include research findings, not just the basic program descriptions.
9. If Canada is not your home, apply some aspect(s) of the course material to your own country.
Please consult with me on this.
10. Discuss the role of international students as potential immigrants. Note changes in policy to
enable students to transition to permanent residents, and evidence on their integration into the
11. Discuss the challenges in Atlantic Canada for attracting immigrants and give an overview of
the Atlantic Immigration Pilot project.
Useful sources for term paper research
Journals of interest:
Canadian Public Policy http://economics.ca/cpp
Canadian Journal of Economics http://economics.ca/cje
Feminist Economics www.feministeconomics.org
Review of Income and Wealth www.roiw.org
Studies in Political Economy
Perspectives on Labour and Income (Statistics Canada) http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studiesetudes/75-001/archive/5007752-eng.htm
Just Labour www.justlabour.yorku.ca/
Labour/Le Travail http://www.mun.ca/cclh/llt/
Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations http://www.riir.ulaval.ca/index.asp?var=EN
Industrial and Labour Relations Review http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/
Organizations and websites of interest:
HRSDC reports http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/publications/index.shtml
Social Development Canada www.sdc.gc.ca/en/home.shtml
Social Union http://socialunion.gc.ca/menu_e.html
Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN) www.cprn.org
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives www.policyalternatives.ca/
Status of Women Canada www.swc-cfc.gc.ca
Statistics Canada Analytical Studies Branch www.statcan.ca/cgibin/downpub/listpub.cgi?catno=11F0019MIE
Conference Board of Canada www.conferenceboard.ca/
CD Howe Institute www.cdhowe.org/index.cfm
Canadian Council on Social Development www.ccsd.ca
Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) www.csls.ca
Luxemburg Income Study (LIS) http://www.lisdatacenter.org/
Economic Policy Institute www.epi.org
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