Like almost everything, gasoline prices are determined by supply and demand. You will write about this in some detail. The paper should be well organized and should answer 3 questions:
1. What are the market structures of the wholesale and retail gasoline markets?
Hint: Are the wholesale markets perfectly competitive, oligopolistic, monopolistic, monopolistically competitive? Is the retail gasoline market perfectly competitive?
2. How do these market structures at various stages of the gasoline supply chain affect gasoline prices?
More hints for questions 1 & 2: what is OPEC and what does it try to do? Is it successful in its goals? Why or why not?
3. What are some other factors affecting gasoline prices?
Questions 1 & 2 have to do with the supply side of gasoline. You may talk about demand side and more supply side effects on gasoline prices in question 3. The paper is due on the last day of class. You may hand in the paper earlier and I will give you feedback on how to improve the paper for a better grade. I will not accept any papers after the last day of class and you will receive a zero for the paper.
GUIDELINE: Your paper must be typed, double-spaced, and around five pages in length. Margins should be 1 to 1 on all sides; font size should not exceed 12 points. (This paper is in 12 font.) Staple together the pages of your paper. Your essay should be in your words. If you must use a quotation, please make sure that it is short. Please use endnotes to cite the source of the material that you use in your paper. Your work will be assessed based on the following considerations: how well you focus on and answer the questions asked in the topic of the paper, specific evidence provided to support your argument, clarity, organization, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
You may go to the website eia.gov (http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/) to do research for the paper. You may want to go to the FAQ section of crude oil (http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/) to begin your research. You may use other source material. Make sure to cite the source of the material by using endnotes.
Please note the colleges statement on plagiarism, as found in the College Catalog: Students should realize that presenting the words and ideas of others as their own is dishonest. In writing, students must fully acknowledge the source of any paraphrased passages and any ideas which they have borrowed. Failure to conform to these academic standards is plagiarism and may result in a failing grade for the course and/or serious disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Code of Conduct.

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