This is a higher level seminar class. What this means is that the success of the course/lectures depends on everybody’s effort, i.e. it is a collective endeavor. We all read, meet, and discuss what we have learned. It is a good idea to start writing down questions/or thoughts about the readings and bringing them to class to enrich the discussion.
It is also an elective course, so if you are taking it, I assume that you are interested in learning the material, and willing to put the effort to do the tedious readings. I know it’s not an easy thing to do, and I know that the marginal benefit may be rather small for students who are taking it just to pass another economics elective, but you should be aware of this and I will try to emphasize it during my first lecture and throughout the course.
So here are a few rules/guidelines to help you prepare for your presentation.
1. Not showing for your presentation is unacceptable and will result in your failing of the course. The only valid reason for missing your presentation is if you are sick (has to be verified by a doctor’s note). I expect that you will show at least some courtesy and let me know a week in advance (or at least a few days) if you are not going to present, so I can prepare and present instead of you.
2. On the day you have to present, at the minimum, I expect you to have done the readings for the day. While Wikipedia is a great social achievement and tool, and could be a great starting point for your research, using only Wikipedia (and only trivial information from Wikipedia) is unacceptable and only shows the lack of interest you have for the course.
3. As far as the content of your presentation goes, I would like the emphasis to be on ideas versus biography. Spiegel, Heilbroner, and the other assigned readings for the day are usually a good starting point. I feel that the assigned readings for the day will provide you with sufficient amount of information.
4. Your presentation should include 2 primary and 2 secondary sources (textbooks don’t count; scholarly articles & books do). Your sources should be cited at the end of your presentation. The assigned papers/ readings can be used as such sources.
5. Your presentation should finish with a discussion topic that relates some of the ideas you have just talked about to modern day economics. Hopefully, this will make the class more engaging.