How to Write an IB Economics Evaluation Essay

Economics evaluation essays are often regarded as one of the most difficult assessment components of the IB Economics program. Students often struggle with structuring their evaluations and applying their economic knowledge to the question. However, evaluations do not need to be difficult and students often overcomplicate their thinking when writing evaluations. In this guide, we will examine first, the wrong way to approach evaluation essays and then how to correctly structure an evaluation. For this, we will use this question to demonstrate the essay writing process:

“Evaluate the extent to which a depreciating exchange rate may benefit or harm an economy.”

The wrong way

Many students adopt this approach when writing evaluation essays:

1. Define

2. Descriptions and analysis

3. Evaluate

Evaluation should not be the “icing on the cake”. Rather, the evaluation should be the cake itself. Writing an economics essay using the above approach can easily lead to the mistake of describing everything about a depreciation and leaving only a small part of the essay for evaluation.

The next problem is that, when reading this type of essay, it is unclear as to what the student is evaluating until near the conclusion. As the student, it’s also easy to get sidetracked.

Some students using this approach may often run out of time and not do any evaluation whatsoever, which will make earning even a 6 difficult.

Finally, this with this approach, it is difficult to effectively tackle different types of economics essays. With the approach in this guide, evaluations can be tackled almost systematically which means that less thinking time is required, leaving more precious writing time.

Note: This approach can work and I’m sure there are students who have scored 7s with this approach. But it is much more difficult to learn if you are unfamiliar with economics evaluations. What I recommend, is to use a systematic strategy and structure that can be applied to almost all types of essay questions.

The correct way

First, let’s think about what evaluation actually is.

This can be found in most economics mark schemes:

Effective evaluation may be to:

· Consider short-term versus long-term consequences

· Examine the impact on different stakeholders

· Discuss advantages and disadvantages

· Prioritize the arguments.

The third description is the one that we recommend as it can suit the widest range of possible examination questions. Stakeholder and long run versus short run analyses are often subsets of a discussion of advantages and disadvantages, i.e. the advantages and disadvantages to different stakeholders, or in the short run and long run. Regardless of the question, there will always be advantages and disadvantages. However, there may not be enough to discuss regarding short run versus long run, or regarding various stakeholders.

You should prioritize your arguments anyway, listing the most important advantages/disadvantages first. pay for essay reddit 

The approach I recommend can be used for almost all types of evaluation essays (With some minor tweaks). The key here is that with practice, you can do evaluations almost systematically, which saves on planning time and keeps your essay focussed.

So, the 5 steps to getting full marks in your economics evaluation essay (Using the advantages and disadvantages approach):

1. Define key terms in the question

This is fairly straightforward. The mark scheme awards a few easy marks just for defining the key terminology. It also helps to focus the essay and for the student to get into “essay writing mode.”

2. Answer the question in 1-2 sentences

Essentially what this means is, summarise the entire essay into 1-2 sentences. This sentence is crucial and is designed to focus your essay. All of your future paragraphs from here will support this.

It is also important to demonstrate your intention to evaluate here. Your 1-2 sentence summary must have elements of evaluation – i.e. useful phrases to use include, “it depends on” or “there are advantages and disadvantages” or “there are many costs and benefits associated” etc.

This sentence can be fairly vague. What’s important is clarification on the direction you will take with your essay.

3. List and explain advantages

Note: For policy choices, this can be replaced with “benefits” and for questions where you are required to evaluate a statement, simply replace this with “arguments supporting the statement”

 

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