A big part of your grade in Economics 350 comes from a self-directed research paper. This paper will employ econometric and statistical tools we learn in class and should reflect your interests. You should plan on coming up with a topic, thesis statement, and data set early in the semester. The sooner you talk to Prof. Fletcher about your topic, the better.
An important part of doing good research is keeping track of what you read, what you write, and how you are handling your data. I encourage you to keep track of updates in your research on your blog. It is a good place to solicit advice from your professor (or professors, as others might find it and comment) and your peers. The more you write down, the easier you will find the process of writing the final project
Perhaps the most challenging aspect to writing a research paper in a short amount of time is data. Collecting your own data, buying data, and seeking out hard-to-find sources are probably not realistic goals for this project. You should concentrate on finding a source of data that is publicly available.
For this reason, I have started a list of publicly available resources and will update it based on your comments and suggestions. Please advise if you find something good and wish to share it.