MA Co-op Work Term Report Guidelines

University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, MA Co-op Program


You are expected to outline your work term placement(s) and associated responsibilities. In addition, you are asked to highlight 2-3 problems/opportunities that you identified during your work term and how you might further explore them. This will form the basis for a Problem Analysis Proposal that will be due in January 2023, as part of the Capstone course.

The work term report includes:

  • Description of position and responsibilities
  • Identification of problems/opportunities
  • Proposed analyses of problems/opportunities

Note: Work reports become the property of the University of Waterloo. Your employer cannot withhold your report because the content is classified.

The report should be:

  • 1500 words long (approximately)
  • double-spaced, single-sided, with pages numbered
  • email a .pdf copy of the report to Maureen Stafford (
  • DUE DATE: December 1, 2022.


  1. Title Page

Should include: the title of the report, your name, ID number, the name of the organization(s) at which the work terms were spent, and the date.

2. Letter of Submission

Should take the form of a standard business letter, addressed to the Graduate Officer (Phil Curry), Department of Economics. The letter should contain the following information: report title, acknowledgments of assistance, and a statement that the report was prepared by you and has not received previous academic credit at this or another institution.


The main section consists of the description of your position and responsibilities, the identification of problems faced by your organization, and your proposed analysis of these problems.

Description of Position and Responsibilities

Your work term(s) was/were at which organization(s)? What was/were your title(s) and position(s), and what were your responsibilities? What were some of your significant challenges and accomplishments?

Problem identification and Proposed Analysis

What problems/opportunities were you able to identify (focus on 2-3 of them) during your work term placement(s), either in the course of your everyday activities or by talking to executives in your organization. Be sure to focus on big challenges your host organization faces, that if resolved could generate significant value to the organization (or to others outside the organization). For each problem identified, describe how you propose to further investigate the problem. What sorts of analyses (economic and otherwise) might you be able to undertake to better understand the problem.

To the extent possible you should adopt an economist’s perspective in analyzing and discussing the problem. Your analysis should ideally draw on things you have learned in the classroom - economic theory and data.


When a source is cited without comment, the reference may be inserted in the text, using an abbreviated form, including the surname of the author, the date of publication, and the page reference, all within parentheses, e.g. (Cassen, 1976, p. 817). Comments on references should be put in footnotes, again using the abbreviated form of the reference. The full reference should be given in a bibliography at the end of the report.


Tables cannot stand on their own; they have to be explained in the text. Every table must be numbered and have a heading. The source of information in the table should be cited immediately below the table.


The main use of footnotes is to give the source of quotations, statistics, or the ideas of other people. It is important that you acknowledge your sources. Footnotes may also be used, occasionally, to qualify or develop a point, which if done in the text would unbalance the material, or interrupt the flow of the narrative. Footnotes should be placed at the bottom of the page to which they refer not at the end of the report.