Essay Prize 2017

The Robinson College Essay Prize is open to all students currently in Year 12 (Lower Sixth, or equivalent) at a UK School. It is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and showcase their independent study and writing skills. By creating the opportunity for students to experience the type of work that they might be expected to do at Cambridge, we hope to encourage inquisitive and industrious students from all backgrounds to apply to Cambridge – and hopefully to Robinson College.

We welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions overleaf, which should be no longer than 2,000 words (including footnotes and captions).  The questions may be discussed with reference to any academic discipline or area of interest. All sources must be appropriately acknowledged and cited, and a bibliography (including websites consulted) should be attached, although this is excluded from the word count. Up to three entries may be submitted per school, so please discuss your application with your school prior to entry.

There are many angles from which to approach the questions and we encourage applicants to ‘think outside the box’ and answer through the lens of a field or subject that greatly interests you.  Good essays will present a clear and concise argument using specific examples, but beyond this there is scope to interrogate the questions in any way you please.

Three prizes will be awarded, each person receiving book tokens to the value of £100. Further essays will be commended for their high quality. Winning and highly commended entrants will be invited to the College for a prize-giving ceremony and celebratory lunch with fellows and Directors of Studies at the college.

The deadline for submission of essays is Friday 18th August. All entries should be sent by email to slo@robinson.cam.ac.uk accompanied by the covering sheet which you can find below.  Please ensure that your school/ college representative completes the appropriate section. Entries will not be valid without this information.

Cover Letter

Essay Prize General Information

Essay Questions:

Discuss, with reference to any academic discipline, any area of interest raised by one of the following

quotations/questions:

1. "....A novel isn't simply a vehicle for private expression, but it also exists for social examination." [ATTWOOD, M.]. Discuss.

2. "The greatest advances of civilisation, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralised government." [FRIEDMAN, M.]. 

3. If our ideas about gender are culturally shaped, should children be allowed to watch Disney films? Discuss 

4. If you could take one item, which must fit in your pocket, back in time with the goal of advancing science or medicine, what would it be, where would you go, and what would you do with it?

5. Whose political speeches are superior: Donald Trump or Barack Obama. Discuss

 

Essay Prize 2016 Winners and Highly Commended:

Arun Chopra

Anna Seale, Luigi Muci, Sophie Buss ,Faye Heron, Linya Peng, Dilhan Akarca

 

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